Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Evolution: Social exclusion leads to cooperation

Date:
December 5, 2012
Source:
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Summary:
Social exclusion as a punishment strategy helps explain the evolution of cooperation, according to new research.

Social exclusion as a punishment strategy helps explain the evolution of cooperation, according to new research.
Credit: apops / Fotolia

Social exclusion as a punishment strategy helps explain the evolution of cooperation, according to new IIASA research.

Related Articles


The new study, by IIASA Evolution and Ecology Program postdoctoral fellow Tatsuya Sasaki, provides a simple new model that ties punishment by social exclusion to the benefits for the punisher. It may help explain how social exclusion arose in evolution, and how it promotes cooperation among groups. The study was published December 5 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society -- Biology.

"Punishment is a common tool to promote cooperation in the real world," says Sasaki. "And social exclusion is a common way to do it." From reef fish to chimpanzees, there are many examples of animals that promote cooperation by excluding free riders. Humans, too, use social exclusion as a way to keep people following societal rules. For example, says Sasaki, traffic violators or drunk drivers may be punished by losing their drivers licenses, essentially excluding them from the driving community.

But how did such punishment evolve? The new research, which uses evolutionary game theory, shows that excluding people from a group indirectly provides rewards for the punisher, thus encouraging them to exclude those they have reason to punish.

"Imagine a pie," says Sasaki. The fewer people sharing that pie, the more pie everyone gets. But you can't deny people pie for no reason. There needs to be a justification, for example, that someone did not contribute to baking the pie -- a free rider, in game theory parlance. Sasaki says, "If you punish free riders with social exclusion, it increases the payoff for the punishers."

Social exclusion also promotes cooperation, the study shows. If free riders are denied a piece of the pie, people will be more likely to cooperate and ensure they get to share in the reward.

Previous studies in evolution and game theory have mostly focused on other punishments that are more costly for the punisher. While a few studies have included social exclusion as one possible punishment, Sasaki's work is the first to connect exclusion to the benefits for the punishers.

The study also compared social exclusion and costly punishment, showing that social exclusion could more easily emerge in a model system, and that it is maintained more easily than costly punishment.

The work has potential applications beyond biology, for example in understanding international cooperation. "It is important to understand how we have achieved some degree of cooperation across all kinds of collective enterprises that are important to local groups or to humankind at large," says Sasaki, "In all such cases, our analysis could help design intervention strategies that enable future increases in cooperation."

Tatsuya Sasaki has just accepted a second appointment as a project postdoctoral fellow at the University of Vienna.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tatsuya Sasaki and Satoshi Uchida. The evolution of cooperation by social exclusion. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2012 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.2498

Cite This Page:

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "Evolution: Social exclusion leads to cooperation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084425.htm>.
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. (2012, December 5). Evolution: Social exclusion leads to cooperation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084425.htm
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "Evolution: Social exclusion leads to cooperation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084425.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins