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Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, the Banker’s Paradox, and the Playing of Non-Zero Sum Games: Developing an Integrated Model of Close Relational Functioning
Unformatted Document Text:  CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS 11 resource contributions -- assistance should be meet with assistance and harm with harm. Taken together, reciprocity assumes that individuals monitor resources and make adjustments in their expenditures to correspond with their partners’ contributions. And in the long run, the inclination to reciprocate is more likely to result in collaborative rather than competitive outcomes. Perhaps the best way to understand this process is to phrase it in terms of the potential competing rights that interdependence creates (Wright, 1994; 2000). For instance, in order to obtain the right to live free from the possibility that you might repeatedly harm me with immunity, I must give up the right to repeatedly harm you with immunity (Wright, 1994; 2000). Viewed this way, reciprocity protects us from each other. Not only does reciprocity serve as a mutual deterrent to negative exchanges, it also rewards the act of making positive contributions. As such, reciprocity provides benefits to those who cooperate and punishes those who compete (Axelrod & Hamilton, 1981; Van Lange & Visser, 1999). More importantly, reciprocity does more than just simply encourage cooperative trades; it provides the foundation for creating collaborative gains – outcomes where more is created from less for everyone involved (non-zero sumness; Wright, 2000). In retrospect, it is little wonder that reciprocity is the primary strategy underlying the exchange of resources among interdependent parties. Importance of Anticipated Interaction. While reciprocity is thought to underlie most social behavior, its influence is more prominent in certain contexts than others. Specifically, the degree to which individuals expect continued interaction determines the degree to which reciprocity operates (Trivers, 1971). In highly interdependent contexts, where non-genetically related parties are repeatedly interacting, reciprocity is a more salient feature of resource exchange (Axelrod & Hamilton, 1981). And as noted above, all-out competition is neither an attractive option nor a wise investment of resources in such situations. Consequently, in dependent contexts, collaboration becomes imperative and therefore implicit monitoring, behavioral regulation, and the sensitivity to fairness all increase. On the other hand, when the likelihood of future interaction is relatively weak, non-zero sum gains may still be important, but they are likely achieved through other means (i.e., indirect reciprocity). Direct reciprocity is not as great a concern when two individuals are not mutually dependent on each other. Accordingly, the sensitivity to fairness, implicit monitoring, and behavioral regulation also begin to play a less crucial role in such contexts (it is easier to dismiss distant others’ behavior). In sum, the degree of interdependence among partners governs the reliance on reciprocity ultimately increasing the likelihood that non-zero sum solutions will emerge when they matter the most. Simply put, the more our fates are tied together, the more pressure there is on us to cooperate. Games of Coordination In addition to games of exchange, collaboration between two individuals involves games of coordination. Coordination games entail interdependent parties realizing benefits due to their ability to

Authors: Teboul, JC. Bruno. and Cole, Tim.
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CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS 11
resource contributions -- assistance should be meet with assistance and harm with harm. Taken together,
reciprocity assumes that individuals monitor resources and make adjustments in their expenditures to
correspond with their partners’ contributions. And in the long run, the inclination to reciprocate is more
likely to result in collaborative rather than competitive outcomes. Perhaps the best way to understand this
process is to phrase it in terms of the potential competing rights that interdependence creates (Wright,
1994; 2000). For instance, in order to obtain the right to live free from the possibility that you might
repeatedly harm me with immunity, I must give up the right to repeatedly harm you with immunity
(Wright, 1994; 2000). Viewed this way, reciprocity protects us from each other. Not only does
reciprocity serve as a mutual deterrent to negative exchanges, it also rewards the act of making positive
contributions. As such, reciprocity provides benefits to those who cooperate and punishes those who
compete (Axelrod & Hamilton, 1981; Van Lange & Visser, 1999). More importantly, reciprocity does
more than just simply encourage cooperative trades; it provides the foundation for creating collaborative
gains – outcomes where more is created from less for everyone involved (non-zero sumness; Wright,
2000). In retrospect, it is little wonder that reciprocity is the primary strategy underlying the exchange of
resources among interdependent parties.
Importance of Anticipated Interaction. While reciprocity is thought to underlie most social
behavior, its influence is more prominent in certain contexts than others. Specifically, the degree to
which individuals expect continued interaction determines the degree to which reciprocity operates
(Trivers, 1971). In highly interdependent contexts, where non-genetically related parties are repeatedly
interacting, reciprocity is a more salient feature of resource exchange (Axelrod & Hamilton, 1981). And
as noted above, all-out competition is neither an attractive option nor a wise investment of resources in
such situations. Consequently, in dependent contexts, collaboration becomes imperative and therefore
implicit monitoring, behavioral regulation, and the sensitivity to fairness all increase. On the other hand,
when the likelihood of future interaction is relatively weak, non-zero sum gains may still be important,
but they are likely achieved through other means (i.e., indirect reciprocity). Direct reciprocity is not as
great a concern when two individuals are not mutually dependent on each other. Accordingly, the
sensitivity to fairness, implicit monitoring, and behavioral regulation also begin to play a less crucial role
in such contexts (it is easier to dismiss distant others’ behavior). In sum, the degree of interdependence
among partners governs the reliance on reciprocity ultimately increasing the likelihood that non-zero sum
solutions will emerge when they matter the most. Simply put, the more our fates are tied together, the
more pressure there is on us to cooperate.
Games of Coordination
In
addition
to
games of exchange, collaboration between two individuals involves games of
coordination. Coordination games entail interdependent parties realizing benefits due to their ability to


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