Prosocial Emotions

Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis

in The Economy as an Evolving Complex System, III

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195162592
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850495 | DOI:

Series: Santa Fe Institute Studies on the Sciences of Complexity

Prosocial Emotions

Show Summary Details


This chapter argues that one can understand the evolution of emotions such as guilt and shame as mechanisms that facilitate social cooperation. As such, emotions evolved because of their reproductive value to groups and hence their individual members. The chapter provides an explanation of the long-term evolutionary success of prosocial emotions in term of both the individual and group-level benefits they confer. This study is part of a new wave of social science research at the Santa Fe Institute and so, likely represents a bridge to the next Economy as an Evolving Complex System conference.

Keywords: evolution; emotions; guilt; shame; social cooperation; social science research; Santa Fe Institute

Chapter.  11493 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Systems

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or purchase to access all content.