The authors explain that the meta-incentives encouraging rewards given to co-operators in social dilemmas significantly prevent cooperative incentive-non-providers who shirk their duty to provide incentives to others, or the second-order free riders.
The authors focused on one human trait, a linkage, which means individuals who are willing to provide incentives would automatically provide meta-incentives as well.
Allowing a reward-to-reward linkage, rather than a punishment system, can resolve the social dilemma without any social costs for formal incentive systems.
“Unexpectedly, the role of the reward system in resolving social dilemmas is significant,” says Okada. “We would apply it to real social and biological situations in the absence of the strong institutions by analyzing the efficiency of incentives required for keeping cooperation. More.
Shouldn’t social science study these Darwin eccentrics?
Oh wait: Scientific American wonders about “liberal bias” in social psych So the editors actually noticed? Could that be why it never came up?
See also: Evolutionary psychology
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