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Third-party punishers are rewarded, but third-party helpers even more so

Raihani, NJ; Bshary, R; (2015) Third-party punishers are rewarded, but third-party helpers even more so. Evolution , 69 (4) pp. 993-1003. 10.1111/evo.12637. Green open access

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Abstract

Punishers can benefit from a tough reputation, where future partners cooperate because they fear repercussions. Alternatively, punishers might receive help from bystanders if their act is perceived as just and other-regarding. Third-party punishment of selfish individuals arguably fits these conditions, but it is not known whether third-party punishers are rewarded for their investments. Here, we show that third-party punishers are indeed rewarded by uninvolved bystanders. Third parties were presented with the outcome of a dictator game in which the dictator was either selfish or fair and were allocated to one of three treatments in which they could choose to do nothing or (1) punish the dictator, (2) help the receiver, or (3) choose between punishment and helping, respectively. A fourth player (bystander) then sees the third-party's decision and could choose to reward the third party or not. Third parties that punished selfish dictators were more likely to be rewarded by bystanders than third parties that took no action in response to a selfish dictator. However, helpful third parties were rewarded even more than third-party punishers. These results suggest that punishment could in principle evolve via indirect reciprocity, but also provide insights into why individuals typically prefer to invest in positive actions.

Type: Article
Title: Third-party punishers are rewarded, but third-party helpers even more so
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/evo.12637
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12637
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Raihani, NJ; Bshary, R; (2015) Third-party punishers are rewarded, but third-party helpers even more so. Evolution , 69 (4) pp. 993-1003, which has been published in final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12637. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms).
Keywords: Cooperation, indirect reciprocity, punishment, reputation, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Female, Game Theory, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Punishment, Reward, Social Behavior, Young Adult
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/1476667
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