Journal article

Henrich, J., and N. Henrich. “Culture, evolution and the puzzle of human cooperation.” Cognitive Systems Research 7, no. 2 (2006): 220-245.Abstract

Synthesizing existing work from diverse disciplines, this paper introduces a culture-gene coevolutionary approach to human behavior and psychology, and applies it to the evolution of cooperation. After a general discussion of cooperation in humans, this paper summarizes Dual Inheritance Theory and shows how cultural transmission can be brought under the Darwinian umbrella in order to analyze how culture and genes coevolve and jointly influence human behavior and psychology. We then present a generally applicable mathematical characterization of the problem of cooperation. From a Dual Inheritance perspective, we review and discuss work on kinship, reciprocity, reputation, social norms, and ethnicity, and their application to solving the problem of cooperation. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Hruschka, D., and J. Henrich. “Friendship, Cliquishness, and the Emergence of Cooperation.” Journal of Theoretical Biology 239, no. 1 (2006): 1-15. PDF
McCauley, R., and J. Henrich. “Susceptibility to the Muller-Lyer Illusion, Theory-Neutral Observation, and the Diachronic Penetrability of the Visual Input System.” Philosophical Psychology 19, no. 1 (2006): 79-101. PDF
Henrich, J.Understanding Cultural Evolutionary Models: A Reply to Read's Critique.” American Antiquity 71, no. 4 (2006). PDF
Silk, Joan B., Sarah F. Brosnan, Jennifer Vonk, Joseph Henrich, Daniel J. Povinelli, Amanda S. Richardson, Susan P. Lambeth, Jenny Mascaro, and Steven J. Shapiro. “Chimpanzees are indifferent to the welfare of unrelated group members.” Nature 437, no. 7063 (2005): 1357-1359. PDF
Henrich, J., R. Boyd, S. Bowles, C. Camerer, E. Fehr, H. Gintis, R. McElreath, et al."Economic man" in cross-cultural perspective: Behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28, no. 6 (2005): 795-855.Abstract

Researchers from across the social sciences have found consistent deviations from the predictions of the canonical model of self-interest in hundreds of experiments front around the world. This research, however, cannot determine whether the uniformity results from universal patterns of human behavior or from the limited cultural variation available among the University students used in virtually all prior experimental work. To address this, we undertook a cross-cultural study of behavior in ultimatum, public goods, and dictator games in a range of small-scale societies exhibiting a wide variety of economic and cultural conditions. We found, first, that the canonical model - based on self-interest - fails in all of the societies studied. Second, our data reveal substantially more behavioral variability across social groups than has been found in previous research. Third, group-level differences in economic organization and the structure of social interactions explain a substantial portion of the behavioral variation across societies: the higher the degree of market integration and the higher the payoffs to cooperation in everyday life, the greater the level of prosociality expressed in experimental games. Fourth, the available individual-level economic and demographic variables do not consistently explain game behavior, either within or across groups. Fifth, in many cases experimental play appears to reflect the common interactional patterns of everyday life.

PDF Supplement
Henrich, J., R. Boyd, S. Bowles, C. Camerer, E. Fehr, H. Gintis, R. McElreath, et al.Models of decision-making and the coevolution of social preferences.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28, no. 6 (2005): 838-855.Abstract

We would like to thank the commentators for their generous comments, valuable insights and helpful suggestions. We begin this response by discussing the selfishness axiom and the importance of the preferences, beliefs, and constraints framework as away of modeling some of the proximate influences on human behavior. Next, we broaden the discussion to ultimate-level (that is evolutionary) explanations, where we review and clarify gene-culture coevolutionary theory, and then tackle the possibility that evolutionary approaches that exclude culture might be sufficient to explain the data. Finally, we consider various methodological and epistemological concerns expressed by our commentators.

Henrich, Joseph. “Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 53, no. 1 (2004): 85-88. PDF
Henrich, Joseph. “Demography and cultural evolution: how adaptive cultural processes can produce maladaptive losses: the Tasmanian case.” American Antiquity 69, no. 2 (2004): 197-214. PDF
Henrich, J.Inequity Aversion in Capuchins?Nature 428, no. 6979 (2004): 139. PDF
Henrich, Joseph, and Richard McElreath. “The evolution of cultural evolution.” Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 12, no. 3 (2003): 123-135. PDF
Henrich, J., and R. McElreath. “Are Peasants Risk-Averse Decision Makers?Current Anthropology 43, no. 1 (2002): 172-181. Supplement PDF
Henrich, J., and R. Boyd. “On Modeling Cultural Evolution: Why replicators are not necessary for cultural evolution.” Journal of Cognition and Culture 2, no. 2 (2002): 87-112. PDF
Henrich, J., and R. McElreath. “Reply to kuznar's comment on our "Are Peasants Risk Averse Decision-Makers".” Current Anthropology 43 (2002): 788-789. PDF
Henrich, Joseph. “Cultural transmission and the diffusion of innovations: Adoption dynamics indicate that biased cultural transmission is the predominate force in behavioral change.” American Anthropologist 103, no. 4 (2001): 992-1013. PDF
Henrich, Joseph, and Francisco J Gil-White. “The evolution of prestige: Freely conferred deference as a mechanism for enhancing the benefits of cultural transmission.” Evolution and human behavior 22, no. 3 (2001): 165-196. PDF
Henrich, J., R. Boyd, S. Bowles, C. Camerer, E. Fehr, H. Gintis, and R. McElreath. “In search of Homo economicus: Behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies.” American Economic Review 91, no. 2 (2001): 73-78. PDF
Henrich, J.On Risk Preferences and Curvilinear Utility Curves.” Current Anthropology 42, no. 5 (2001): 711-713. PDF
Henrich, J., and R. Boyd. “Why People Punish Defectors: Weak conformist transmission can stabilize costly enforcement of norms in cooperative dilemmas.” Journal of Theoretical Biology 208, no. 1 (2001): 79-89. PDF
Henrich, J.Does Culture Matter in Economic Behavior: Ultimatum Game Bargaining Among the Machiguenga.” American Economic Review 90, no. 4 (2000): 973-980. PDF