Presentation on theme: "Cooperative Alliances By Jordan Poss. What Good Are Friends? Natural selection is competitive. Alliances often require the sacrifice of one to benefit."— Presentation transcript:
What Good Are Friends? Natural selection is competitive. Alliances often require the sacrifice of one to benefit another. Many alliances are between unrelated people. What do humans get from friendship?
Alliances Problem of Altruism -Cost to you, gain for friend -Altruism is nothing new
Theory of Reciprocal Altruism One of the strengths of the theory is that the benefit to another often outweighs the cost incurred by the giver. - Examples: hunters, give friend ride to airport These gains in trade set the stage for the evolution of reciprocal altruism. Problems?
Prisoner’s Dilemma Will you rat out your friend to save yourself? Mugshot of Omaha native Nick Nolte
Prisoner’s Dilemma Mutual Loyalty 2 years in jail You’re loyal, friend betrays you 5 years in jail You betray your friend, your friend is loyal Set free Both betray each other 4 years in jail
Prisoner’s Dilemma Mutual Loyalty 15 years in jail You’re loyal, friend betrays you Life in jail (75 years) You betray your friend, your friend is loyal Set free Both betray each other 35 years in jail
Tit for Tat Axelrod (1981) sent requests out to people for strategies. The winning strategy was called Tit for Tat. It had only two rules. –Cooperate on the first move –Reciprocate every move after that
Tit for Tat Axelrod’s defining features of Tit for Tat. –Never be the first to defect –Retaliate only after the other has defected –Be forgiving Golden Rule of Tit for Tat “First do unto others as you wish them to do unto you, but then do unto them as they have just done to you.”
Cooperation Strategies for cooperation –Enlarge the shadow of the future –Teach reciprocity –Insist on no more than equity –Respond quickly to provocation –Cultivate reputation as reciprocator –Can the information learned from the prisoner’s dilemma be applied to real life?
Cooperation in Nature Vampire Bats (Wilkinson, 1984) –Live off the blood of other animals –Sometimes are not able to obtain blood –Regurgitate blood for others in need –Only gave blood to those they associated with in the past –Helped the most needy –Those that were helped in time of need were more willing to give blood to the other bats who helped them.
Cooperation in Nature Baboons showed reciprocity in using alliances to gain access to mates (Packer, 1987). Vervet monkeys (Seyfarth & Cheney, 1984) Chimpanzee politics (de Waal, 1982)
Social Contract Theory Many exchanges done at different times. Many exchanges involve the trading of different things. Vulnerable to cheating
Social Contract Theory The social contract theory is used to explain the evolution of human cooperation, with an emphasis on cheater detection (Cosmides & Tooby, 1992). Cheating is a threat to cooperation.
Cognitive Capacities for Detecting Cheaters The ability to recognize many different humans. –Being able to recognize others allows you to make sure they repay you. –Prosopagnosia
Cognitive Capacities for Detecting Cheaters Ability to remember some aspects of the histories of interactions with different individuals –If you can’t remember what people owe you then you are more susceptible to cheating. –Problems?
Cognitive Capacities for Detecting Cheaters The ability to communicate one’s values to others. –If you fail to communicate your distress, you might be vulnerable to future cheating.
Cognitive Capacities for Detecting Cheaters The ability to model the values of others. –If you can detect what others need then you can give them something useful.
Cognitive Capacities for Detecting Cheaters The ability to represent costs and benefits, independent of the particular items exchanged. –Must be able to cognitively represent the costs and benefits of a wide range of items.
Testing Social Contract Theory Logic Problems –None of the vampires are werewolves, but all of the werewolves are ghosts. What conclusions can we draw?
Cheater Detection Mechanism Cosmides and Tooby (1992) found people were better at solving logic problems structured in terms of costs and benefits. –Said familiarity didn’t account for it.
Cheater Detection Mechanism One patient with damage to his orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala had troubles with following social contract rules but not other types of rules. –People with similar types of damage are more susceptible to scams and exploitative relationships (Stone et al., 2002). Do you think there is a cheater detection mechanism?
Prospective Altruism Brown (2000) suggests that we have ability to detect genuine altruists? –Would you like an alliance with someone who is genuinely altruistic or someone who does a favor because it will benefit him/her? –Can you think of ways that the having an alliance with the person who expects something in return could be good? Vs.
Costly Signaling Displays of altruism such as giving substantial gifts and donations signal to others that they make good allies.
Friendship Tooby & Cosmides (1996) suggest that we consider what human intuition tells us about friendship. Why do you have friends? Equally beneficial
Does Altruism Have to Incur Cost? The benefits that we can give others without incurring any cost to us would be most beneficial. –Ex- Bringing someone to store when you are already going.
Banker’s Paradox People who really need money are same ones who are less likely to pay it back. Who would you loan money to? Evolution should favor mechanisms that cause desertion when others are most needy. –How do you avoid being deserted?
Become Irreplaceable Reputation of unique and useful attributes Cultivate specialized skills Seek out others who value your skills Drive off rivals Billy the Bobcat recommends being a taxidermist in Nebraska instead of Delaware.
True Friends? Hard to separate true friends from fair- weather friends Are people losing connections with others in modern times?
Limited Niches for Friends Each person has a limited amount of time, energy, and effort for friends. –Who do you consider a friend?
Choosing Friends Tooby and Cosmides (1996) said to consider these factors when choosing a friend: –Number of slots already filled –Evaluate who emits positive externalities –Select friends who are good at reading your mind –Select friends who consider you irreplaceable –Select friends who want the same things that you want
Costs of Friendship Friends help us in many ways Friends can also cost us –Competitors for jobs, other friends, mates http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCsJYApY9C4&mode=related&search=
Opposite-Sex Friends Men are more likely to see opposite-sex friends as potentials for sexual access. Women are more likely to deny sexual advances from friends. Women reported receiving more protection from male friends than other way around. Both genders use opposite-sex friends for information.
Cooperative Coalitions Alliances of more than two individuals Problems –Defection –Free-riding Benedict Arnold
Alliances in The Departed Law Both Crime Billy Costigan Colin Sullivan Frank Costello Dignam
The Departed 4 double agents 4 double agent deaths