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Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies
     

Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies

by Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr
 

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ISBN-10: 0199262047

ISBN-13: 9780199262045

Pub. Date: 06/10/2004

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

What motives underlie the ways in which humans interact socially? Are these the same for all societies? Are these part of our nature, or influenced by our environments? Over the last decade, research in experimental economics has emphatically falsified the textbook representation of Homo economicus. Hundreds of experiments suggest that people care not only about their

Overview

What motives underlie the ways in which humans interact socially? Are these the same for all societies? Are these part of our nature, or influenced by our environments? Over the last decade, research in experimental economics has emphatically falsified the textbook representation of Homo economicus. Hundreds of experiments suggest that people care not only about their own material payoffs, but also about such things as fairness, equity, and reciprocity. However, this research left a fundamental question unanswered: Are such social preferences stable components of human nature, or are they modulated by economic, social, and cultural environments? Until now, experimental research could not address this question because virtually all subjects had been university students. Combining ethnographic and experimental approaches to fill this gap, this book breaks new ground in reporting the results of a large cross-cultural study aimed at determining the sources of social (non-selfish) preferences that underlie the diversity of human sociality. In this study, the same experiments carried out with university students were performed in fifteen small-scale societies exhibiting a wide variety of social, economic, and cultural conditions.

The results show that the variation in behaviour is far greater than previously thought, and that the differences between societies in market integration and the importance of cooperation explain a substantial portion of this variation, which individual-level economic and demographic variables could not. The results also trace the extent to which experimental play mirrors patterns of interaction found in everyday life. The book includes a succinct but substantive introduction to the use of game theory as an analytical tool, and to its use in the social sciences for the rigorous testing of hypotheses about fundamental aspects of social behaviour outside artificially constructed laboratories. The editors also summarize the results of the fifteen case studies in a suggestive chapter about the scope of the project.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199262045
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/10/2004
Pages:
472
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figuresix
List of Tablesxiv
List of Contributorsxvii
1Introduction and Guide to the Volume1
2Overview and Synthesis8
3Measuring Social Norms and Preferences Using Experimental Games: A Guide for Social Scientists55
4Coalitional Effects on Reciprocal Fairness in the Ultimatum Game: A Case from the Ecuadorian Amazon96
5Comparative Experimental Evidence from Machiguenga, Mapuche, Huinca, and American Populations125
6Dictators and Ultimatums in an Egalitarian Society of Hunter-Gatherers: The Hadza of Tanzania168
7Does Market Exposure Affect Economic Game Behavior? The Ultimatum Game and the Public Goods Game among the Tsimane' of Bolivia194
8Market Integration, Reciprocity, and Fairness in Rural Papua New Guinea: Results from a Two-Village Ultimatum Game Experiment232
9Ultimatum Game with an Ethnicity Manipulation: Results from Khovdiin Bulgan Sum, Mongolia260
10Kinship, Familiarity, and Trust: An Experimental Investigation305
11Community Structure, Mobility, and the Strength of Norms in an African Society: The Sangu of Tanzania335
12Market Integration and Fairness: Evidence from Ultimatum, Dictator, and Public Goods Experiments in East Africa356
13Economic Experiments to Examine Fairness and Cooperation among the Ache Indians of Paraguay382
14The Ultimatum Game, Fairness, and Cooperation among Big Game Hunters413
Appendix436
Index439

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