Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Punishment of free-riding has been implicated in the evolution of cooperation in humans, and yet mechanisms for punishment avoidance remain largely uninvestigated. Individual variation in these mechanisms may stem from variation in the serotonergic system, which modulates processing of aversive stimuli. Functional serotonin gene variants have been associated with variation in the processing of aversive stimuli and widely studied as risk factors for psychiatric disorders.
With recent developments in community psychiatric services, concern with prevention has become an urgent social, as well as medical challenge. Comprehensive investigation into causation must therefore be given systematic emphasis. This paper is an effort toward clarification of etiology, specifically of the depressive disorder, in terms of early childhood experiences.
The aims of this study were: (a) to examine the prevalence of corporal punishment (CP) of children in Spain; (b) to analyze the extent to which CP is used in combination with psychological aggression and positive parenting among Spanish parents; and (c) to investigate whether the relation between CP and behavior problems is moderated by a positive parenting context in which CP may be used, and by the co-occurrence of psychological aggression. The sample comprised 1,071 Spanish university students (74.8% female; 25.2% male).
Child rearing provides messages and rules that mediate the children's personality. These messages have a positive or negative influence on their behaviour. The objective of this empirical study was to analyse the relationship between physical and verbal aggression of sons and daughters and parenting style practiced by the father and the mother. The sample consisted of 2,788 students, aged 10 to 15 years, studying either the third cycle of Primary Education (44%) or the first cycle of Secondary Education (56%). Of them, 1,412 were boys (50.6%) and 1,375 were girls (49.3%).
Humans show consistent differences in the extent to which their behavior reflects a bias toward appetitive approach-related behavior or avoidance of aversive stimuli [Elliot, A. J. Approach and avoidance motivation. In A. J. Elliot (Ed.), Handbook of approach and avoidance motivation (pp. 3-14). New York: Psychology Press, 2008].
In religions where God is portrayed as both loving and wrathful, religious beliefs may be a source of fear as well as comfort. Here, we consider if God's love may be more effective, relative to God's wrath, for soothing distress, but less effective for helping control behavior. Specifically, we assess whether contemplating God's love reduces our ability to detect and emotionally react to conflict between one's behavior and overarching religious standards.
Cooperation is a paradox: Why should one perform a costly behavior only to increase the fitness of another? Human societies, in which individuals cooperate with genetically unrelated individuals on a considerably larger scale than most mammals do, are especially puzzling in this regard. Recently, the threat of punishment has been given substantial attention as one of the mechanisms that could help sustain human cooperation in such situations.
Many people incur costs to reward strangers who have been kind to others. Theoretical and experimental evidence suggests that such "indirect rewarding" sustains cooperation between unrelated humans. Its emergence is surprising, because rewarders incur costs but receive no immediate benefits. It can prevail in the long run only if rewarders earn higher payoffs than "defectors" who ignore strangers' kindness.
We analyse generosity, second-party ('spiteful') punishment (2PP), and third-party ('altruistic') punishment (3PP) in a cross-cultural experimental economics project. We show that smaller societies are less generous in the Dictator Game but no less prone to 2PP in the Ultimatum Game. We might assume people everywhere would be more willing to punish someone who hurt them directly (2PP) than someone who hurt an anonymous third person (3PP). While this is true of small societies, people in large societies are actually more likely to engage in 3PP than 2PP.
Human adults engage in costly third-party punishment of unfair behavior, but the developmental origins of this behavior are unknown. Here we investigate costly third-party punishment in 5- and 6-year-old children. Participants were asked to accept (enact) or reject (punish) proposed allocations of resources between a pair of absent, anonymous children. In addition, we manipulated whether subjects had to pay a cost to punish proposed allocations. Experiment 1 showed that 6-year-olds (but not 5-year-olds) punished unfair proposals more than fair proposals.