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Social selection is a powerful explanation for prosociality

  • Randolph M. Nesse (a1)

Abstract

Cultural group selection helps explain human cooperation, but social selection offers a complementary, more powerful explanation. Just as sexual selection shapes extreme traits that increase matings, social selection shapes extreme traits that make individuals preferred social partners. Self-interested partner choices create strong and possibly runaway selection for prosocial traits, without requiring group selection, kin selection, or reciprocity.

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