The Evaluation of Second- and Third-Party Punishers

  • Nobuhiro Mifune Kochi University of Technology
  • Yang Li The University of Melbourne
  • Narumi Okuda Fujikin CO., LTD.


Although punishment can promote cooperative behavior, the evolution of punishment requires benefits which override the cost. One possible source of the benefit of punishing uncooperative behavior is obtaining a positive evaluation. This study compares evaluations of punishers and non-punishers. Two hundred and thirty-four undergraduate students participated in two studies. Study 1 revealed that, in the public goods game, punishers were not positively evaluated, while punishers were positively evaluated in the third-party punishment game. In Study 2, where the non-cooperator was a participant of a public goods game, we manipulated the punishers participation in the game. The results showed that punishers received no positive evaluations, regardless of their participation in the game, indicating that negative evaluation may not be a reaction toward aggression with retaliatory intentions.

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