Heritability of cooperative behavior in the trust game

David Cesarini, Christopher T. Dawes, James H. Fowler, Magnus Johannesson, Paul Lichtenstein, Björn Wallace

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Although laboratory experiments document cooperative behavior in humans, little is known about the extent to which individual differences in cooperativeness result from genetic and environmental variation. In this article, we report the results of two independently conceived and executed studies of monozygotic and dizygotic twins, one in Sweden and one in the United States. The results from these studies suggest that humans are endowed with genetic variation that influences the decision to invest, and to reciprocate investment, in the classic trust game. Based on these findings, we urge social scientists to take seriously the idea that differences in peer and parental socialization are not the only forces that influence variation in cooperative behavior.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3721-3726
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume105
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 25 2008

    Keywords

    • Behavioral genetics
    • Cooperation
    • Experimental economics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

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  • Cite this

    Cesarini, D., Dawes, C. T., Fowler, J. H., Johannesson, M., Lichtenstein, P., & Wallace, B. (2008). Heritability of cooperative behavior in the trust game. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(10), 3721-3726. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0710069105