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Competition for Cooperation: variability, benefits and heritability of relational wealth in hunter-gatherers

Chaudhary, N; Salali, GD; Thompson, J; Rey, A; Gerbault, P; Stevenson, EGJ; Dyble, M; ... Migliano, AB; + view all (2016) Competition for Cooperation: variability, benefits and heritability of relational wealth in hunter-gatherers. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 29120. 10.1038/srep29120. Green open access

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Abstract

Many defining human characteristics including theory of mind, culture and language relate to our sociality, and facilitate the formation and maintenance of cooperative relationships. Therefore, deciphering the context in which our sociality evolved is invaluable in understanding what makes us unique as a species. Much work has emphasised group-level competition, such as warfare, in moulding human cooperation and sociality. However, competition and cooperation also occur within groups; and inter-individual differences in sociality have reported fitness implications in numerous non-human taxa. Here we investigate whether differential access to cooperation (relational wealth) is likely to lead to variation in fitness at the individual level among BaYaka hunter-gatherers. Using economic gift games we find that relational wealth: a) displays individual-level variation; b) provides advantages in buffering food risk, and is positively associated with body mass index (BMI) and female fertility; c) is partially heritable. These results highlight that individual-level processes may have been fundamental in the extension of human cooperation beyond small units of related individuals, and in shaping our sociality. Additionally, the findings offer insight in to trends related to human sociality found from research in other fields such as psychology and epidemiology.

Type: Article
Title: Competition for Cooperation: variability, benefits and heritability of relational wealth in hunter-gatherers
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep29120
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep29120
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS, SOCIAL NETWORKS, FOOD TRANSFERS, EGALITARIAN SOCIETIES, BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, ORIGINS, RECIPROCITY, PUNISHMENT, FORAGERS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1504632
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