Prosperity Through Punishment

from the beat-down-the-non-cooperative-folks dept

A really interesting study in Nature about how people work better cooperatively if they punish the freeloaders – even if there’s a cost to themselves. This goes against the idea that it’s always “every many for himself”. It turns out (not surprisingly) that people hate “cheaters” or “freeloaders” so much, they get more utility out of punishing them, than they do from keeping whatever rewards for themselves. However, in punishing the cheaters, it helps to improve the cooperation level among others. It does make sense, and I’m almost surprised that no one has done studies like this before.

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