- Oxford Library of Psychology
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editors
- Toward Bridging Gaps: Finding Commonality between Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology
- Why Behaviorism Isn't Satanism
- Confronting Language, Representation, and Belief: A Limited Defense of Mental Continuity
- Evolved Cognitive Adaptations
- Convergent Evolution of Cognition in Corvids, Apes and Other Animals
- Social Complexity and Intelligence
- Cephalopod Intelligence
- Cold-Blooded Cognition: Reptilian Cognitive Abilities
- Cetacean Cognitive Specializations
- Socio-Cognitive Specializations in Nonhuman Primates: Evidence from Gestural Communication
- The Evolution of Canine Cognition
- Episodic Memory and Planning
- Comparative Mental Time Travel: Is There a Cognitive Divide between Humans and Animals in Episodic Memory and Planning?
- Animal Models of Human Cognition
- Metacognition across Species
- Symbolic Communication in the Grey Parrot
- Communication in Nonhuman Primates
- Female Preference Functions Provide a Window into Cognition, the Evolution of Communication, and Speciation in Plant-Feeding Insects
- Apes and the Evolution of Language: Taking Stock of 40 Years of Research
- The Phylogeny and Ontogeny of Prosocial Behavior
- The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Cooperation
- Culture and the Evolution of Human Sociality
- The Evolution of Morality: Which Aspects of Human Moral Concerns Are Shared With Nonhuman Primates?
- The Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology of Social Learning and Culture
- Cognitive Imitation: Insights into the Development and Evolution of Social Learning
- The Ecology and Evolution of Social Behavior and Cognition in Primates
- The Evolution of a Cooperative Social Mind
- Darwin, Tinbergen, and the Evolution of Comparative Cognition
- Comparative Evolutionary Psychology: A United Discipline for the Study of Evolved Traits
Abstract and Keywords
Compared to other species, humans are unusual in both our capacity for extensive and cumulative culture and our large, non-kin-based cooperative societies. In this chapter we review recent theories that draw links between these two unusual traits. Theories of indirect reciprocity posit that language allows cooperation to be maintained in human groups through the formation of reputations, and cooperation can also be maintained through altruistic or third-party punishment of noncooperators. The theory of cultural group selection holds that cooperative tendencies arose as a result of competition between internally cohesive cultural groups in human prehistory. We also discuss the role of social emotions in maintaining cooperative societies. Finally, we review recent work that suggests that population size can set limits on the degree of cultural complexity that can be maintained, suggesting a two-way interaction between culture and sociality.
Alex Mesoudi, Biological and Experimental Psychology Group, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London UK.
Keith Jensen, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London UK.
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