- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Winners don’t punish: “Punishing slackers Part 2”
Two weeks ago, I wrote about a Science paper which looked at the effects of punishment in different societies across the world. Through a series of fascinating psychological experiments, the paper showed that the ability to punish freeloaders stabilises cooperative behaviour, bringing out the selfless side in people by making things more difficult for cheaters. The paper also showed that ‘antisocial punishment’, where the punished seek revenge on the punishers, derails the high levels of cooperation that other fairer forms of punishment help to entrench.
Now a new study published in that other minor journal Nature adds another twist to the story. In it, Anna Dreber, Martin Nowak and colleagues from Harvard University confirm that groups of people