Consequences for Individual Behavior, Social Structure, and Design of Institutions
This chapter reviews the consequences of exploitative strategies for individual behavior, social structure, and design of institutions. It outlines how natural selection should act to construct behavioral connections that maximize benefits and minimize costs of sociality for individuals. Individuals are predicted to show specific leaving or joining decision rules that will construct groups composed of complementary strategies; alternatively, they should be plastic in response to their social environment, which can lead to conditional strategies and social niche construction. What happens on an individual level impacts, in turn, social structures: individual interactions with specific (known) individuals may result in “groupiness” and reduce uncertainty in interactions. Economic conflict theory provides a framework to predict exploitative behavior between groups. Better understanding of exploitation at these different levels may permit the payoffs of specific interactions to be adjusted, thus reducing the negative impacts on a system.
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