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Models of decision-making and the coevolution of social preferences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2005

Joseph Henrich
Department of Anthropology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322
Robert Boyd
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Samuel Bowles
Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM 87501 and Faculty of Economics, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
Colin Camerer
Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125
Ernst Fehr
University of Zurich, CH-8006, Zurich, Switzerland
Herbert Gintis
Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM 87501 and Faculty of Economics, Central European University, H-1051 Budapest, Hungary
Richard McElreath
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616
Michael Alvard
Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4352
Abigail Barr
Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UL, United Kingdom
Jean Ensminger
Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125
Natalie Smith Henrich
ORC Macro, Atlanta, GA 30329
Kim Hill
Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-1086
Francisco Gil-White
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6196
Michael Gurven
Department of Anthropology, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Frank W. Marlowe
Department of Anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
John Q. Patton
Department of Anthropology, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92834-6846
David Tracer
Department of Anthropology and Health and Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado at Denver, Denver, CO 80217


We would like to thank the commentators for their generous comments, valuable insights and helpful suggestions. We begin this response by discussing the selfishness axiom and the importance of the preferences, beliefs, and constraints framework as a way of modeling some of the proximate influences on human behavior. Next, we broaden the discussion to ultimate-level (that is evolutionary) explanations, where we review and clarify gene-culture coevolutionary theory, and then tackle the possibility that evolutionary approaches that exclude culture might be sufficient to explain the data. Finally, we consider various methodological and epistemological concerns expressed by our commentators.

Authors' Response
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