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Environmental adversity is associated with lower investment in collective actions

Abstract : Environmental adversity is associated with a wide range of biological outcomes and behaviors that seem to fulfill a need to favor immediate over long-term benefits. Adversity is also associated with decreased investment in cooperation, which is defined as a long-term strategy. Beyond establishing the correlation between adversity and cooperation, the channel through which this relationship arises remains unclear. We propose that this relationship is mediated by a present bias at the psychological level, which is embodied in the reproduction-maintenance trade-off at the biological level. We report two pre-registered studies applying structural equation models to test this relationship on large-scale datasets (the European Values Study and the World Values Survey). The present study replicates existing research linking adverse environments (both in childhood and in adulthood) with decreased investment in adult cooperation and finds that this association is indeed mediated by variations in individuals' reproduction-maintenance trade-off.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - 12:16:39 PM
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Niels Lettinga, Pierre O Jacquet, Jean-Baptiste André, Nicole Baumand, Coralie Chevallier. Environmental adversity is associated with lower investment in collective actions. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (7), pp.e0236715. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0236715⟩. ⟨inserm-02916993⟩



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