ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (11): 1901-1910.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.01901

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Motives of altruistic punishment

CHEN Sijing(), YANG Shasha   

  1. School of Economics and Management, Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
  • Received:2020-03-17 Online:2020-11-15 Published:2020-09-23
  • Contact: CHEN Sijing


The altruistic punishment is proposed as an important mechanism for the existence of social norms. The motives for punishing altruistically, however, are not entirely altruistic from the individual perspective. In addition to maintaining the principle of fairness, the pursuit of a good reputation, the aversion of potential losses, or the elimination of negative emotions also drive, to varying degrees, altruistic punishment. In addition, the sensitivity to the amount and form of sanction costs also shows that strategic motivations based on the cost-benefit principle play a significant role in driving altruistic punishment. Further exploration of the interaction between different motivations in the implementation of altruistic punishment is an important issue that deserves more attention in the future research.

Key words: altruistic punishment, punishment motive, fairness principle, reputation, punishment cost

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