[Paleopsych] punishing cheaters

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 21 19:14:27 UTC 2005

>>Using a similar model to Gintis and the others
(Nature, vol 425, p 785), they found that cooperation
can become the default behaviour in large groups
provided punishers are willing to punish not only
those who cheat, but also those who fail to punish
cheats (see Graph). "In this case," Fehr says, "even
groups of several hundred individuals can establish
cooperation rates of between 70 and 80 per cent."<<

--Seems like a mechanism that could be easily hijacked
to drive the whole system into cooperation in the
wrong direction. If the group is primed to punish
cheaters, the cheaters may be able to rise in rank and
direct that energy toward a scapegoat, marginalizing
anyone who defends the scapegoat.


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