Complexity Digest 2004.12 - 02.01
Altruism May Arise from Individual Selection, arXiv
Abstract: The fact that humans cooperate with non-kin in large groups, or with people they will never meet again, is a long-standing evolutionary puzzle with profound implications. Cooperation is linked to altruism, the capacity to perform costly acts that confer benefits on others. Theoretical approaches had so far disregarded costly acts that do not yield future benefits for the altruist, either directly or indirectly. Recently, strong reciprocity, i.e., the predisposition to cooperate with others and to punish non-cooperators at personal cost, has been proposed as a schema for understanding altruism in humans. While behavioral experiments support the existence of strong reciprocity, its evolutionary origins remain unclear: group and cultural selection are generally invoked to compensate for the negative effects that reciprocity is assumed to have on individuals. Here we show, by means of an agent-based model inspired on the Ultimatum Game, that selection acting on individuals capable of other-regarding behavior can give rise to strong reciprocity. The results, consistent with the existence of neural correlates of fairness, are in good agreement with observations on humans and monkeys.
- Source: Altruism May Arise from Individual Selection
[ http://arXiv.org/abs/q-bio.PE/0403023 ], Angel Sanchez, Jose A. Cuesta, DOI: q-bio.PE/0403023, arXiv, 2004-03-16