CORDIS
EU research results

CORDIS

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Ecological Origins of Cross-Societal Variation in Cooperation

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 864519

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2020

  • End date

    31 August 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 000 000

  • EU contribution

    € 2 000 000

Hosted by:

STICHTING VU

Netherlands

Objective

Societies that contain widespread cooperation can solve problems of public good provision and resource conservation, yet many societies fail to display the cooperation necessary to solve these problems. A puzzle facing the social sciences is understanding the origin of cross-societal variation in cooperation. Strikingly, multiple disciplines propose the same, not yet established, explanation: ecological conditions, such as subsistence, environmental hazards, and relational mobility, determine how people are interdependent (i.e. how actions affect own and others’ outcomes), and interdependence can be the mechanism through which diverse ecologies shape a culture of cooperation. For example, rice versus wheat production plausibly has led to more versus less dependence on others, which then led to different cultures (e.g. values, beliefs, and norms) that affect strategies of when and how people cooperate. I use a multi-discipline, multi-method approach to answer three questions about whether ecologies indeed create different interdependence, and how this leads to variation in culture and cooperation. Do ecologies create different kinds of interdependence? I measure the interdependence and cooperation people experience across different ecologies in 10 contemporary small-scale societies, among rice and wheat farmers in China, and in over 200 societies documented in the ethnographic record. Can interdependence cause differences in culture and cooperation? I use agent-based models and experiments to study how variation in interdependence can cause different norms of cooperation. Does variation in interdependence relate to culture and cooperation? I apply experience sampling to measure interdependence and cooperation in daily life across 35 societies that vary in culture. The ground-breaking innovation of this project is establishing interdependence as a common mechanism through which diverse features of the ecology shape cross-societal differences in culture and cooperation

Host institution

STICHTING VU

Address

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 Hv Amsterdam

Netherlands

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 000 000

Beneficiaries (1)

STICHTING VU

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 2 000 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 864519

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2020

  • End date

    31 August 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 000 000

  • EU contribution

    € 2 000 000

Hosted by:

STICHTING VU

Netherlands