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Social dilemmas, institutions, and the evolution of cooperation

Book Description

The question of how cooperation and social order can evolve from a Hobbesian state of nature of a “war of all against all” has always been at the core of social scientific inquiry. Social dilemmas are the main analytical paradigm used by social scientists to explain competition, cooperation, and conflict in human groups. The formal analysis of social dilemmas allows for identifying the conditions under which cooperation evolves or unravels. This knowledge informs the design of institutions that promote cooperative behavior. Yet to gain practical relevance in policymaking and institutional design, predictions derived from the analysis of social dilemmas must be put to an empirical test. The collection of articles in this book gives an overview of state-of-the-art research on social dilemmas, institutions, and the evolution of cooperation. It covers theoretical contributions and offers a broad range of examples on how theoretical insights can be empirically verified and applied to cooperation problems in everyday life. By bringing together a group of distinguished scholars, the book fills an important gap in sociological scholarship and addresses some of the most interesting questions of human sociality.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Preface
  6. Contents
  7. Part I: Foundations
    1. Introduction
    2. Micro-Macro Models in Sociology: Antecedents of Coleman’s Diagram
  8. Part II: Institutions
    1. The Kula Ring of Bronislaw Malinowski: Simulating the Co-Evolution of an Economic and Ceremonial Exchange System
    2. From the Savannah to the Magistrate’s Court
    3. The Dependence of Human Cognitive and Motivational Processes on Institutional Systems
    4. Social Dilemmas and Solutions in Immunizations
  9. Part III: Social Norms
    1. When Do People Follow Norms and When Do They Pursue Their Interests?
    2. Personal Exposure to Unfavorable Environmental Conditions: Does it Stimulate Environmental Activism?
    3. Cooperation and Career Chances in Science
    4. Social Dilemmas in Science: Detecting Misconduct and Finding Institutional Solutions
    5. The Interplay of Social Status and Reciprocity
  10. Part IV: Peer-Sanctioning
    1. Types of Normative Conflicts and the Effectiveness of Punishment
    2. Social Status and Peer-Punishment: Findings from Two Road Traffic Field Experiments
    3. The Double Edge of Counter-Sanctions. Is Peer Sanctioning Robust to Counter-Punishment but Vulnerable to Counter-Reward?
    4. Diffusion of Responsibility in Norm Enforcement
    5. Endogenous Peer Punishment Institutions in Prisoner’s Dilemmas: The Role of Noise
  11. Part V: Trust and Trustworthiness
    1. Cooperation and Distrust – a Contradiction?
    2. Signaling Theory Evolving: Signals and Signs of Trustworthiness in Social Exchange
    3. Trust and Promises as Friendly Advances
    4. Online Reputation in eBay Auctions: Damaging and Rebuilding Trustworthiness Through Feedback Comments from Buyers and Sellers
  12. Part VI: Game Theory
    1. Nash Dynamics, Meritocratic Matching, and Cooperation
    2. A Note on the Strategic Determination of the Required Number of Volunteers
    3. Is No News Bad News? A Hostage Trust Game with Incomplete Information and Fairness Considerations of the Trustee
  13. Part VII: Experimental Methods
    1. When Prediction Fails
    2. Measuring Social Preferences on Amazon Mechanical Turk
    3. Repetition Effects in Laboratory Experiments
  14. Notes on the Editors and Contributors