Commentary

Models inconsistent with altruism cannot explain the evolution of human cooperation

Citation

Myrseth KOR & Wollbrant CE (2016) Models inconsistent with altruism cannot explain the evolution of human cooperation. Commentary on: Bear A, Rand DG (2016) Intuition, deliberation, and the evolution of cooperation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(4):936–941. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1517780113. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113 (18), pp. E2472-E2472. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1602463113

Abstract
First paragraph: The article "Intuition, deliberation, and the evolution of cooperation," by Bear and Rand (1), uses game theoretic models to examine the role of intuition and deliberation in human cooperation. The premise is that dual processes characterize human social decision making: "(i) automatic, intuitive processes that are relatively effortless but inflexible; and (ii) controlled, deliberative processes that are relatively effortful but flexible" (1). The objective is to "provide a formal theoretical framework for considering the question of whether prosociality is intuitive or whether it requires self-control," and the article concludes that "evolution never favors strategies for which deliberation increases cooperation" (1). However, the evolutionary model suffers from a serious shortcoming; it precludes the survival of altruistic individuals—thought to represent a major share of human populations (2). It is therefore not suitable for addressing whether human cooperative behavior is intuitive.

Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Volume 113, Issue 18

StatusPublished
FundersSwedish Research Council
Publication date31/05/2016
Publication date online30/04/2016
Date accepted by journal18/04/2016
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/28685
PublisherProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
eISSN1091-6490
Item discussedBear A, Rand DG (2016) Intuition, deliberation, and the evolution of cooperation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(4):936–941. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1517780113