Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

2020 Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Social Cooperation

  • Mateo Peñaherrera-AguirreEmail author
  • James Zerbe
  • Heitor B. F. Fernandes
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24612-3_1578


Interaction(s) among two or more actors, leading to the increased fitness of the parties involved.


Cooperation has been considered an evolutionary conundrum, wherein according to evolutionary theory free-riders accrue greater individual payoffs in comparison to cooperators in social interaction (Dawkins 2006). This imbalance is considered to allow cheaters to invade a population, driving cooperative strategies to extinction. Socioecological pressures have also been found to promote the emergence of defection, as inter-individual interactions that involve cheating, manipulation, or simply lack of cooperative efforts have been found to be associated with unstable and unpredictable ecologies for which long-term investments (including investments in long-term cooperative relationships or community efforts) do not offer reliable rewards (Figueredo et al. 2006).

With the purpose of solving this biological conundrum, numerous perspectives have been developed in the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mateo Peñaherrera-Aguirre
    • 1
    Email author
  • James Zerbe
    • 2
  • Heitor B. F. Fernandes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.School of Human Evolution and Social ChangeArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jon Sefcek
    • 1
  1. 1.Kent State UniversityKentUSA