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Reciprocal Altruism (Middle-Level Theory in Evolutionary Psychology)

Synonyms

Cooperative investments; Cooperative returns; Reciprocal rewards; Reciprocity; Sanctions; Social partner choice

Definition

Reciprocal altruism describes a situation in which an organism acts in a manner that temporarily reduces its fitness while increasing another organism’s fitness. Underlying this behavior is the assumption that there is an ultimate fitness benefit based on an expectation that the other organism will act in a similar manner at a later time. It creates the obvious dilemma in which there is always a short-term benefit to cheating, which is why cooperating individuals must avoid being exploited by non-cooperating cheaters. Therefore, contingent cooperative investments that are based on the cooperative returns must be enforced through partner control and/or partner choice.

Introduction

It is relatively easy to explain altruism among relatives where kin selection causes genes to increase in frequency when the genetic relatedness of a recipient to a donor...

Keywords

  • Social Partner
  • Food Sharing
  • Pied Flycatcher
  • Reciprocal Altruism
  • Indirect Reciprocity

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Krams, I. (2016). Reciprocal Altruism (Middle-Level Theory in Evolutionary Psychology). In: Weekes-Shackelford, V., Shackelford, T., Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3598-1

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