The study took groups
In some groups, the freeloaders hit back, punishing the others in a tit-for-tat cycle
The red bars on the graph above show the levels
Lead author Simon Gaechter, Professor
"Our results correlate with other survey data in particular measuresIn an accompanying commentary, Herbert Gintis, (professor
ofsocial norms ofcivic co-operation and rule oflaw in these same societies. The findings suggest that in societies where public co-operation is ingrained and people trust their law enforcement institutions, revenge is generally shunned. But in societies where the modern ethic ofco-operation with unrelated strangers is less familiar and the rule oflaw is weak, revenge is more common.
“The authors’ empirical results show that the advanced market societies with democratic institutions produce an ethicOne
ofspontaneous cooperation, with a strong altruistic dimension, that likely accounts at least in part for their material success and legitimacy, says Gintis. He adds that the results must be validated and extended before we firm conclusions can be drawn.
With regard to the value orientations investigated by Inglehart and co-workers we find that the dimension “traditional vs. secular-rational values” has no explanatory power (probably because in this dimension we do not have much variability across the societiesNow, there are a number
ofour subject pools)
Furthermore, a country like the USA may score low on secular-rational values, even though there are outposts
But what this study does do is bang yet another nail in the coffin
B. Herrmann, C. Thoni, S. Gachter (2008). Antisocial Punishment Across Societies Science, 319 (5868), 1362-1367 DOI: 10.1126/science.1153808
Gintis H. BEHAVIOR: Punishment and Cooperation. Science 7 March 2008:1345-1346. DOI: 10.1126/science.1155333