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Building the Leviathan: Voluntary Centralisation of Punishment Power Sustains Cooperation in Humans

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dc.contributor.author Gross, Jörg
dc.contributor.author Méder, Zsombor Z.
dc.contributor.author Okamoto-Barth, Sanae
dc.contributor.author Reidl, Arno
dc.date.accessioned 2016-08-22T19:03:06Z
dc.date.available 2016-08-22T19:03:06Z
dc.date.issued 2016 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10070
dc.description.abstract "The prevalence of cooperation among humans is puzzling because cooperators can be exploited by free riders. Peer punishment has been suggested as a solution to this puzzle, but cumulating evidence questions its robustness in sustaining cooperation. Amongst others, punishment fails when it is not powerful enough, or when it elicits counter-punishment. Existing research, however, has ignored that the distribution of punishment power can be the result of social interactions. We introduce a novel experiment in which individuals can transfer punishment power to others. We find that while decentralised peer punishment fails to overcome free riding, the voluntary transfer of punishment power enables groups to sustain cooperation. This is achieved by non-punishing cooperators empowering those who are willing to punish in the interest of the group. Our results show how voluntary power centralisation can efficiently sustain cooperation, which could explain why hierarchical power structures are widespread among animals and humans." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.subject human behavior en_US
dc.title Building the Leviathan: Voluntary Centralisation of Punishment Power Sustains Cooperation in Humans en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.type.methodology Experimental en_US
dc.subject.sector Social Organization en_US
dc.identifier.citationjournal Scientific Reports en_US
dc.identifier.citationvolume 6 en_US
dc.identifier.citationnumber 20762 en_US

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