Cooperation Valued Worldwide (03-04-19)

Curry, Mullins, and Whitehouse determined that cooperation is valued worldwide, so supporting cooperation via design is generally desirable.  The researchers report that “The theory of ‘morality-as-cooperation’ argues that morality consists of a collection of biological and cultural solutions to the problems of cooperation recurrent in human social life. Morality-as-cooperation . . . predicts that specific forms of cooperative behavior—including helping kin, helping your group, reciprocating, being brave, deferring to superiors, dividing disputed resources, and respecting prior possession—will be considered morally good wherever they arise, in all cultures. . . . we investigated the moral valence of these even cooperative behaviors in the ethnographic records of 60 societies.  We find that the moral valence of these behaviors is uniformly positive, and the majority of these cooperative morals are observed in the majority of cultures, with equal frequency across all regions of the world.  We conclude that these seven cooperative behaviors are plausible candidates for universal moral rules.”

Oliver Curry, Daniel Mullins, and Harvey Whitehouse.  2019. “Is It Good to Cooperate?  Testing the Theory of Morality-As-Cooperation in 60 Societies.”  Current Anthropology, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 47-69, https://doi.org/10.1086/701478