ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (11): 2057-2063.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.02057

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A Review on Cooperation from the Point of View of Evolutionary Psychology

XIE Wenlan;WANG Zuojun;WANG Fei;ZHANG Lin   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China) (2 Department of Advertising, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China)
  • Received:2012-10-08 Online:2013-11-15 Published:2013-11-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Lin;WANG Zuojun


Cooperation means that selfish individuals help one another at the cost of some of their own reproductive potential. However, cooperation has been observed in several levels of biological organization and among animals and humans. From the point of view of evolutionary psychology, a series of theories was proposed to account for the evolution of cooperation, such as kin selection, direct benefits, reciprocation, and culture adaption. To avoid free riding or defection, some systems, such as communication channels and social sanctioning, need to be set. Furthermore, strong group identification could promote cooperation, while dominance hierarchy formed in selection had complex effects on cooperation. Future research could further investigate the effects of social status of an individual within a group, social interaction of individuals within a group or between groups, or changing social norms on the evolution of cooperation.

Key words: Cooperation, evolution, kin selection, reciprocity, disadvantage