Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-692xr Total loading time: 0.335 Render date: 2023-01-27T18:21:09.720Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

The Evolution of Guilt: A Model-Based Approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

Using evolutionary game theory, I consider how guilt can provide individual fitness benefits to actors both before and after bad behavior. This supplements recent work by philosophers on the evolution of guilt with a more complete picture of the relevant selection pressures.

Type
Moral Emotions
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

Many thanks to Justin Bruner, Edouard Machery, Jay Odenbaugh, Brian Skyrms, James Weatherall, and various conference and colloquium audiences for comments on this work. Special thanks to Michael Deem and Grant Ramsey for their continued feedback and the original inspiration.

References

Alexander, J. McKenzie. 2007. The Structural Evolution of Morality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Axelrod, Robert. 2000. “On Six Advances in Cooperation Theory.” Analyse and Kritik 22 (1): 130–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Axelrod, Robert, and Hamilton, William D.. 1981. “The Evolution of Cooperation.” Science 211 (4489): 1390–96.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bornstein, Brian H., Rung, Lahna M., and Miller, Monica K.. 2002. “The Effects of Defendant Remorse on Mock Juror Decisions in a Malpractice Case.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 20 (4): 393409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyd, Robert, Gintis, Herbert, Bowles, Samuel, and Richerson, Peter J.. 2003. “The Evolution of Altruistic Punishment.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100 (6): 3531–35.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boyd, Robert, and Richerson, Peter J.. 1992. “Punishment Allows the Evolution of Cooperation (or Anything Else) in Sizable Groups.” Ethology and Sociobiology 13 (3): 171–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyd, Robert, and Richerson, Peter J. 2009. “Culture and the Evolution of Human Cooperation.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 364 (1533): 3281–88.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brosig, Jeannette. 2002. “Identifying Cooperative Behavior: Some Experimental Results in a Prisoner’s Dilemma Game.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 47 (3): 275–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chudek, Maciej, and Henrich, Joseph. 2011. “Culture-Gene Coevolution, Norm-Psychology and the Emergence of Human Prosociality.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (5): 218–26.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Deem, Michael J., and Ramsey, Grant. 2016. “Guilt by Association.” Philosophical Psychology 29 (4): 570–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eisenberg, Theodore, Garvey, Stephen P., and Wells, Martin T.. 1997. “But Was He Sorry? The Role of Remorse in Capital Sentencing.” Cornell Law Review 83:15991637.Google Scholar
Fehr, Ernst, and Gächter, Simon. 2002. “Altruistic Punishment in Humans.” Nature 415 (6868): 137–40.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fischbacher, Urs, and Utikal, Verena. 2013. “On the Acceptance of Apologies.” Games and Economic Behavior 82:592608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frank, Robert H. 1987. “If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?American Economic Review 77 (4): 593604.Google Scholar
Frank, Robert H. 1988. Passions within Reason: The Strategic Role of the Emotions. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
Frank, Robert H., Gilovich, Thomas, and Regan, Dennis T.. 1993. “The Evolution of One-Shot Cooperation: An Experiment.” Ethology and Sociobiology 14 (4): 247–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gold, Gregg J., and Weiner, Bernard. 2000. “Remorse, Confession, Group Identity, and Expectancies about Repeating a Transgression.” Basic and Applied Social Psychology 22 (4): 291300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Güth, Werner. 1995. “An Evolutionary Approach to Explaining Cooperative Behavior by Reciprocal Incentives.” International Journal of Game Theory 24 (4): 323–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hamilton, William D. 1963. “The Evolution of Altruistic Behavior.” American Naturalist 97 (896): 354–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Han, The Anh, Pereira, Lus Moniz, Santos, Francisco C., and Lenaerts, Tom. 2013. “Why Is It So Hard to Say Sorry? Evolution of Apology with Commitments in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma.” In Proceedings of the Twenty-Third International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, ed. Rossi, Francesca, 177–83. Menlo Park, CA: IJCAI.Google Scholar
Henrich, Joseph, and Henrich, Natalie. 2006. “Culture, Evolution and the Puzzle of Human Cooperation.” Cognitive Systems Research 7 (2): 220–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ho, Benjamin. 2012. “Apologies as Signals: With Evidence from a Trust Game.” Management Science 58 (1): 141–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huttegger, Simon M., Bruner, Justin P., and Zollman, Kevin J. S.. 2015. “The Handicap Principle Is an Artifact.” Philosophy of Science 82 (5): 9971009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jehle, Alayna, Miller, Monica K., and Kemmelmeier, Markus. 2009. “The Influence of Accounts and Remorse on Mock Jurors’ Judgments of Offenders.” Law and Human Behavior 33 (5): 393404.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Joyce, Richard. 2007. The Evolution of Morality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Ketelaar, Timothy, and Au, Wing Tung. 2003. “The Effects of Feelings of Guilt on the Behaviour of Uncooperative Individuals in Repeated Social Bargaining Games: An Affect-as-Information Interpretation of the Role of Emotion in Social Interaction.” Cognition and Emotion 17 (3): 429–53.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Malti, Tina, and Krettenauer, Tobias. 2013. “The Relation of Moral Emotion Attributions to Prosocial and Antisocial Behavior: A Meta-analysis.” Child Development 84 (2): 397412.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nelissen, Rob M., and Zeelenberg, Marcel. 2009. “When Guilt Evokes Self-Punishment: Evidence for the Existence of a Dobby Effect.” Emotion 9 (1): 118–22.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nelissen, Rob M. A. 2012. “Guilt-Induced Self-Punishment as a Sign of Remorse.” Social Psychological and Personality Science 3 (2): 139–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nowak, Martin A. 2006. “Five Rules for the Evolution of Cooperation.” Science 314 (5805): 1560–63.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nowak, Martin A., and Sigmund, Karl. 1992. “Tit for Tat in Heterogeneous Populations.” Nature 355 (6357): 250–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nowak, Martin A., Sigmund, Karl, et al. 1993. “A Strategy of Win-Stay, Lose-Shift That Outperforms Tit-for-Tat in the Prisoner’s Dilemma Game.” Nature 364 (6432): 5658.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ohtsubo, Yohsuke, and Watanabe, Esuka. 2009. “Do Sincere Apologies Need to Be Costly? Test of a Costly Signaling Model of Apology.” Evolution and Human Behavior 30 (2): 114–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Okamoto, Kyoko, and Matsumura, Shuichi. 2000. “The Evolution of Punishment and Apology: An Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma Model.” Evolutionary Ecology 14 (8): 703–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ostrom, Elinor, Gardner, Roy, and Walker, James. 1994. Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Regan, Judith W. 1971. “Guilt, Perceived Injustice, and Altruistic Behavior.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 18 (1): 124–32.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Robson, Arthur J. 1990. “Efficiency in Evolutionary Games: Darwin, Nash and the Secret Handshake.” Journal of Theoretical Biology 144 (3): 379–96.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rosenstock, Sarita, and O’Connor, Cailin. 2016. “When It’s Good to Feel Bad: Evolutionary Models of Guilt and Apology.” Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Irvine.Google Scholar
Silfver, Mia. 2007. “Coping with Guilt and Shame: A Narrative Approach.” Journal of Moral Education 36 (2): 169–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Skyrms, Brian. 2004. The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Svensson, Robert, Weerman, Frank M., Pauwels, Lieven J. R., Bruinsma, Gerben J. N., and Bernasco, Wim. 2013. “Moral Emotions and Offending: Do Feelings of Anticipated Shame and Guilt Mediate the Effect of Socialization on Offending?European Journal of Criminology 10 (1): 2239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tangney, June Price, Miller, Rowland S., Flicker, Laura, and Barlow, Deborah Hill. 1996. “Are Shame, Guilt, and Embarrassment Distinct Emotions?Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 70 (6): 1256–69.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wu, Jianzhong, and Axelrod, Robert. 1995. “How to Cope with Noise in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 39 (1): 183–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
7
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Evolution of Guilt: A Model-Based Approach
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Evolution of Guilt: A Model-Based Approach
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Evolution of Guilt: A Model-Based Approach
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *