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The social side of Homo economicus


Rankin, D J (2011). The social side of Homo economicus. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 26(1):1-3.

Abstract

Many recent experiments in the field of behavioural economics appear to demonstrate a willingness of humans to behave altruistically, even when it is not in their interest to do so. This has led to the assertion that humans have evolved a special predisposition towards altruism. Recent studies have questioned this, and demonstrated that selfless cooperation does not hold up in controlled experiments. As I discuss here, this calls for more economic 'field experiments' and highlights the need for greater integration of the evolutionary and economic sciences.

Many recent experiments in the field of behavioural economics appear to demonstrate a willingness of humans to behave altruistically, even when it is not in their interest to do so. This has led to the assertion that humans have evolved a special predisposition towards altruism. Recent studies have questioned this, and demonstrated that selfless cooperation does not hold up in controlled experiments. As I discuss here, this calls for more economic 'field experiments' and highlights the need for greater integration of the evolutionary and economic sciences.

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2 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:07 Dec 2010 13:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:24
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0169-5347
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2010.10.005
PubMed ID:21087808
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-38541

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