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Punishment and cooperation in nature.

Raihani, NJ; Thornton, A; Bshary, R; (2012) Punishment and cooperation in nature. Trends Ecology & Evolution , 27 (5) 288 - 295. 10.1016/j.tree.2011.12.004. Green open access

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Abstract

Humans use punishment to promote cooperation in laboratory experiments but evidence that punishment plays a similar role in non-human animals is comparatively rare. In this article, we examine why this may be the case by reviewing evidence from both laboratory experiments on humans and ecologically relevant studies on non-human animals. Generally, punishment appears to be most probable if players differ in strength or strategic options. Although these conditions are common in nature, punishment (unlike other forms of aggression) involves immediate payoff reductions to both punisher and target, with net benefits to punishers contingent on cheats behaving more cooperatively in future interactions. In many cases, aggression yielding immediate benefits may suffice to deter cheats and might explain the relative scarcity of punishment in nature.

Type: Article
Title: Punishment and cooperation in nature.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.12.004
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2011.12.004
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Aggression, Animals, Biological Evolution, Cooperative Behavior, Humans, Punishment, Selection, Genetic
UCL classification: UCL
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 Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1339656
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