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Altruism and emotions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 March 2003

Herbert Gintis
Affiliation:
Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01060 hgintis@attbi.com http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu

Abstract

If altruism requires self-control, people must consider altruistic acts as costly, the benefits of which will only be recouped in the future. By contrast, I shall present evidence that altruism is dictated by emotions: Altruists secure an immediate payoff from performing altruistic acts, so no element of self-control is present, and no future reward is required or expected.

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Brief Report
Copyright
© 2002 Cambridge University Press

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