Recent studies draw attention on the highly specialized capacity of human beings in recognizing altruists versus cheaters in social interactions. These results hint at the existence of specialized abilities that support discriminating behavior in strategic interactions. In this paper, we explore the implications of discriminating behavior in the study of the indirect evolutionary selection of selfish versus altruistic motivations in the context of generic 2×2 base games, and in particular for coordination and cooperation scenarios. We find that inequality averse (Rawlsian) altruism can enforce under rather general conditions socially optimal outcomes, including cases where selfishness cannot, such as in prisoner’s dilemmas. Inequality seeking (Nietzschian) altruism in no case improves upon Rawlsian altruism in terms of social optimality of outcomes, and often does worse. In the cooperation scenario in particular, Nietzschean altruism never manages to implement the cooperative outcome. Under perfect discrimination, moreover, inequality averse (Rawlsian) altruism often evolves at the expense of selfishness. These results suggest that the development of sophisticated discrimination abilities may be strongly adaptive in supporting fairness-oriented forms of pro-sociality in humans in the context of social dilemmas and coordination problems.

Rawlsian altruism with perfect discrimination leads to social efficiency

P. Sacco
2016

Abstract

Recent studies draw attention on the highly specialized capacity of human beings in recognizing altruists versus cheaters in social interactions. These results hint at the existence of specialized abilities that support discriminating behavior in strategic interactions. In this paper, we explore the implications of discriminating behavior in the study of the indirect evolutionary selection of selfish versus altruistic motivations in the context of generic 2×2 base games, and in particular for coordination and cooperation scenarios. We find that inequality averse (Rawlsian) altruism can enforce under rather general conditions socially optimal outcomes, including cases where selfishness cannot, such as in prisoner’s dilemmas. Inequality seeking (Nietzschian) altruism in no case improves upon Rawlsian altruism in terms of social optimality of outcomes, and often does worse. In the cooperation scenario in particular, Nietzschean altruism never manages to implement the cooperative outcome. Under perfect discrimination, moreover, inequality averse (Rawlsian) altruism often evolves at the expense of selfishness. These results suggest that the development of sophisticated discrimination abilities may be strongly adaptive in supporting fairness-oriented forms of pro-sociality in humans in the context of social dilemmas and coordination problems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11582/313493
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