The evolution of utility functions and psychological altruism

Détails

ID Serval
serval:BIB_AD96CC3E8B9A
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Sous-type
Synthèse (review): revue aussi complète que possible des connaissances sur un sujet, rédigée à partir de l'analyse exhaustive des travaux publiés.
Collection
Publications
Titre
The evolution of utility functions and psychological altruism
Périodique
Studies In History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Auteur(s)
Clavien C., Chapuisat M.
ISSN
1879-2499 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
1369-8486
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
2016
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
56
Pages
24-31
Langue
anglais
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
Résumé
Numerous studies show that humans tend to be more cooperative than expected given the assumption that they are rational maximizers of personal gain. As a result, theoreticians have proposed elaborated formal representations of human decision-making, in which utility functions including "altruistic" or "moral" preferences replace the purely self-oriented "Homo economicus" function. Here we review mathematical approaches that provide insights into the mathematical stability of alternative utility functions. Candidate utility functions may be evaluated with help of game theory, classical modeling of social evolution that focuses on behavioral strategies, and modeling of social evolution that focuses directly on utility functions. We present the advantages of the latter form of investigation and discuss one surprisingly precise result: "Homo economicus" as well as "altruistic" utility functions are less stable than a function containing a preference for the common welfare that is only expressed in social contexts composed of individuals with similar preferences. We discuss the contribution of mathematical models to our understanding of human other-oriented behavior, with a focus on the classical debate over psychological altruism. We conclude that human can be psychologically altruistic, but that psychological altruism evolved because it was generally expressed towards individuals that contributed to the actor's fitness, such as own children, romantic partners and long term reciprocators.
Pubmed
Création de la notice
11/10/2016 16:29
Dernière modification de la notice
03/03/2018 20:30
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