Cognitive limitations of reciprocal altruism in animals Cover Image
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Poznawcze ograniczenia zachowań altruistycznych u zwierząt
Cognitive limitations of reciprocal altruism in animals

Author(s): Jerzy Osiński
Subject(s): Psychology
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar Sp. z o.o.
Keywords: cognitive limitations; reciprocal altruism; animals

Summary/Abstract: A lot of controversy surrounds examples of reciprocal altruism in animals discussed in literature, raising the question whether animals demonstrate this type of altruistic behaviour at all, and if not, why? Among the mentioned reasons for its absence are cognitive limitations in peer identification, numerical competences, memory and learning, as well as temporal discounting. On the other hand, it has been argued that scepticism about the presence of reciprocal altruism in animals may result from ill-chosen assessment criteria that focus on the quantitative aspects of the relationship between mutual services rendered by the parties. Meanwhile, reciprocation may reflect a relatively simple emotional mechanism based on social bonds founded on altruistic behavior previously demonstrated by the partner. This mechanism is likely to underlie a large variety of animal behaviors representing reciprocal altruism.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 28
  • Page Range: 31-46
  • Page Count: 16