Mechanisms to Detect and Punish Cheaters
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Cheating violates shared social contracts. Individuals are sensitive to such violations and punish transgressors.
Cheating can be broadly defined as any action that violates a social contract (e.g., a shared social norm) and that is intended to obtain personal benefits while inflicting costs on other individuals who have not agreed upon these costs (Cosmides 1989). Cheating occurs in many different contexts – in intimate relationships or in social groups where mutual cooperation increases collective benefits, while cheating benefits only the defector. Consider, for instance, a dyadic interaction in which someone pretends to behave cooperatively, leading another to behave cooperatively as well to maximize collective benefits. In this situation, the first person can exploit the cooperative other by defecting, thus benefiting oneself but inflicting costs on the cooperator. In this regard,...
KeywordsSocial Contract Source Memory Cheat Behavior Mutual Cooperation Drinking Beer
- Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1992). Cognitive adaptations for social exchange. In J. H. Barkow, L. Cosmides, & J. Tooby (Eds.), The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture (pp. 163–228). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar