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Meeting at Grand CentralUnderstanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation$
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Lee Cronk and Beth L. Leech

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154954

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154954.001.0001

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Cooperation Emergent

Cooperation Emergent

(p.151) Chapter 7 Cooperation Emergent
Meeting at Grand Central

Lee Cronk

Beth L. Leech

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the concept of emergence in relation to cooperation, and more specifically how social interactions can lead to the spontaneous emergence of norms, conventions, and other social institutions that help coordinate social behavior. People can coordinate their social behaviors if they have common knowledge both about how to do so and about the fact that everyone else also knows how to do so. Such common knowledge is often enshrined in norms about social behavior, for example, which side of the road to drive on. The chapter first provides a brief historical background on the importance of emergence in the social sciences before discussing instances in which emergent phenomena help people cooperate. It also considers how mathematics helps shape cooperation and the ways that power law curves, criticality, and assurance games contribute to the study of cooperation.

Keywords:   emergence, social interactions, norms, social behavior, social sciences, mathematics, cooperation, power law curves, criticality, assurance games

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