Why Humans Cooperate: A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation (Evolution and Cognition)

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  2. Why Humans Cooperate: A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation (Evolution and Cognition)
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Phase V, excluding alternative explanations for sustained provisioning—If sustained provisioning occurred over the five test sessions in phase IV, it could still be that transfers occurred by mistake because the pulling subjects had not understood that they wouldn't be able to obtain the food themselves, and had not learnt this during the five test sessions. Even though the animals would have had numerous opportunities to learn that pulling food in position 1 was never rewarded, it could be argued, especially for smaller-brained species such as callitrichids that trials are not sufficient to learn so.

In the final phase V, we therefore tested this understanding, but obviously could only do so in those groups that had shown sustained provisioning in phase IV, that is, who continued to provide food to partners at stable rates throughout the 5 test sessions of phase IV. Phase V was identical to phase IV, except that physical access to the food bowl was now blocked by a fine-meshed grid attached to the home cage in front of position 1, leaving visual and olfactory cues present.

Thus, even if the tray was pulled to within reach, no one could ever obtain the food. In the sakis and in one group of common marmosets, instead of blocking the access with a fine-meshed grid, we moved the apparatus to the edge of the cage so that the outer part of the apparatus would overhang the length of the home cage. Thus, the apparatus could still be pulled but the food would nevertheless not become available to the other group members. We again ran five test sessions position 1 baited and five control sessions position 1 empty with the grid always in place, on alternating days.

Why Humans Cooperate: A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation (Evolution and Cognition)

Each session consisted of 70 trials and additional motivation trials interspersed after every 5th regular trial during motivation trials, food was again available and accessible in position 0. If in phase IV, pulling the baited tray in position 1 occurred for any reason other than intentionally providing food for example, a persistent inability to inhibit pulling the baited tray due to the salient visual and olfactory cues , pulling should continue in phase V at the same level as during phase IV. However, if pulling in phase IV occurred to provide food to group members, pulling in phase V should decrease over time more consistently than in phase IV because pulling in phase V did not result in providing food to group members.

During the experiments, data were also collected by hand, including whether an individual pulled or not within a given trial, whether a transfer occurred and if so, the identity of the donor and the recipient. This data was later verified with the video clips by the experimenter.

In case of inconsistencies, the true values based on the video clips were used. Reaching was only coded from the videos after the experiment, for test session 5 of phase IV. For each regular trial, we coded whether an individual tried to reach for the food in position 1 by extending its arm or tail in the case of spider monkeys outside of the wire mesh in the direction of the food reward.

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However, we only included reaching attempts that could be perceived by a second individual that was close enough to reach the apparatus with one leap exact distances differed according to the respective species. The group service paradigm requires several criteria to be fulfilled to conclude that food deliveries are due to proactive prosociality 24 see Supplementary Methods for details. First, subjects must understand the task. They must pass various knowledge probes and control conditions to proceed to the experiment Supplementary Table 7.

In particular, the results must not reflect the absence of sufficient inhibitory control. Ideally, an alternative measure that controls for inhibitory control that is, difference scores for which pulling rates during control sessions are subtracted from pulling during test sessions, Supplementary Table 8 produces the same results as those obtained with the absolute measure used for the main analyses.

Second, species with high rates of proactively prosocial pulling must maintain high rates throughout all five test sessions, and not decline over time, as would be expected if animals unintentionally provisioned others in the beginning and gradually learned they were doing so Supplementary Fig.

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Third, we must exclude that reactive prosociality drives the results, that is, that begging is not necessary and other signs of need by recipients ineffective Supplementary Fig. Fourth, phase V is added to further demonstrate the understanding of the consequences of their pulling. Finally, one could argue that rather than testing different groups, we only assess the behaviour of the most dominant individual per group because this is the only individual in the group enjoying near-complete freedom in behaviour.

To test this possibility, we assessed whether the relationship between the extent of allomaternal care and proactive prosociality also holds at the group level GLM; response: proactive prosociality, random effect: species. Note that phylogenetic structure can only be taken into account in species-level analyses. However, lambda was low or 0 in most of the species-level analyses performed in the main analyses, suggesting that phylogenetic structure has only a marginal effect in the present data set.

How to cite this article: Burkart, J. The evolutionary origin of human hyper-cooperation. Tomasello, M. Origins of human cooperation and morality. Chudek, M. Culture-gene coevolution, norm-psychology and the emergence of human prosociality. Trends Cogn. Gintis, H. Putting the altruism back into altruism: the evolution of empathy. Silk, J. Evolutionary foundations of human prosocial sentiments. Natl Acad. USA , — Cronin, K. Prosocial behaviour in animals: the influence of social relationships, communication and rewards.

Chimpanzees are indifferent to the welfare of unrelated group members. Nature , — Greene, J.

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How and where does moral judgment work? Hare, B. The self-domestication hypothesis: evolution of bonobo psychology is due to selection against aggression. Two key steps in the evolution of human cooperation. Boesch, C. Nature 13 , 27—46 Burkart, J. Cognitive consequences of cooperative breeding in primates. Cooperative breeding and human cognitive evolution.

Hrdy, S. Press Dunfield, K. Child Dev. Paulus, M. Neural correlates of prosocial behavior in infancy: different neurophysiological mechanisms support the emergence of helping and comforting.

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NeuroImage 66 , — Warneken, F. Jaeggi, A. On the psychology of cooperation in humans and other primates: the natural history of food sharing and experimental evidence of prosociality. B , — Preschool children fail primate prosocial game because of attentional task demands.

Jensen, K. Self-regard precludes altruism and spite in chimpanzees.

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Horner, V. Spontaneous prosocial choice by chimpanzees. Other-regarding preferences in a non-human primate, the common marmoset Callithrix jacchus. Giving is self-rewarding for monkeys. Group service in macaques Macaca fuscata , capuchins Cebus apella and marmosets Callithrix jacchus : a comparative approach to identifying proactive prosocial motivations. Reader, S. The evolution of primate general and cultural intelligence.

Amici, F. Fission-fusion dynamics, behavioral flexibility, and inhibitory control in primates. Rose, L.