The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Cooperation

Felix Warneken and Alicia P. Melis

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199738182
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Cooperation

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Cooperative behaviors such as helping, sharing, and collaboration are important components of human social life. Here, we summarize recent experiments that provide insight into both the ontogenetic and phylogenetic origins of these behaviors. Specifically, by combining a developmental and comparative approach, these experiments investigate the emergence of these behaviors in human ontogeny, and highlight similarities as well as differences with those of chimpanzees and bonobos. We review altruistic and mutualistic behaviors as two broad classes of cooperative behaviors that are underlain by different motivational and cognitive processes, emphasizing the importance of investigating proximate mechanisms to gain a comprehensive understanding of human cooperation.

Keywords: Cooperation; altruism; mutualism; joint intentions; human children; chimpanzees; bonobos

Article.  14702 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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