Dividing the Spoils of Cooperation

June 20, 2016

Many traits make human beings unique, not the least of which is our ability to cooperate with one another. But exactly how we choose to do that — particularly with nonfamily members — can be complicated.

For men, that choice relies partially on perceptions of productivity and material benefit, just as it would have in an ancestral hunter-gatherer society. So finds a new study by UC Santa Barbara psychologists, which appears in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

“It’s interesting that those mechanisms are designed for the environment of our ancestors, not our current context, yet they affect how people behave today,” said lead author Adar Eisenbruch, a Ph.D. candidate in evolutionary psychology.

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