The Origin and Evolution of Cultures

By Robert Boyd; Peter J. Richerson | Go to book overview

8
The Evolution of Reciprocity
in Sizable Groups

Several lines of evidence suggest that sizable groups of people sometimes behave cooperatively, even in the absence of external sanctions against noncooperative behavior. For example, in many food foraging groups, game is shared among all members of the group regardless of who makes the kill (e.g., Kaplan and Hill, 1984; Lee, 1979; Damas, 1971). In many other stateless societies, men risk their lives in warfare with other groups (e.g., Meggit, 1977). There is also evidence that a great deal of cooperation takes place in contemporary state-level societies without external sanctions. For example, people contribute to charity, give blood, and vote—even though the effect of their own contributions on the welfare of the group is negligible. The groups benefiting are often very large and composed of very distantly related individuals. Perhaps the most dramatic examples of cooperation in contemporary societies are underground movements such as Poland's Solidarity in which people cooperate to achieve a common goal in opposition to all of the power of the modern state (see Olson, 1971, 1982, and Hardin, 1982, for further examples.) Because of the anecdotal nature of these data, it is possible to doubt any particular example. However, psychologists and sociologists have also shown that people cooperate under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, albeit for smaller stakes. For example, Marwell and Ames (1978, 1980) presented individual students with two alternative investments: a low return private investment in which profits accrued to the individual, and a higher return investment in which returns accrued to all group members whether they invested or not. Students invested in the group-beneficial investment at a much higher rate than that consistent with rational self-interest. (See Dawes, 1980, for a review of such experiments.)

-145-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Origin and Evolution of Cultures
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 456

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.