Punishers May Be Chosen as Providers But Not as Recipients

  • Yutaka Horita Department of Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University
Keywords: punishment, cooperation, reputation


The issue of evolution of punitive behavior has been a focus of recent studies of human cooperation. One of the topics for discussion in this literature is whether punishers receive benefits, on which no clear conclusion has been reached yet. We conducted a scenario experiment in which we manipulated game types and reward types, and found that punishers were chosen more frequently than non-punishers as providers of rewards, and yet, they were chosen less frequently than non-punishers as recipients of rewards. Adaptive advantages of punishers are suggested to be in their likelihood of being chosen as providers of resources, rather than as recipients of reward.