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Behavioural science: Homo reciprocans

Subjects

Humans are often generous, but cooperation unravels when others take advantage of them. Many people punish such 'free riders', even if they do not benefit personally, and this 'altruistic punishment' sustains cooperation.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Samuel Bowles is at the Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA. e-mail: bowles@santafe.edu

    • Samuel Bowles
  2. Herbert Gintis is at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA. e-mail: hgintis@mediaone.net

    • Herbert Gintis

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