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An evolutionary psychological perspective on social capital

  • Kanazawa, Satoshi
  • Savage, Joanne
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    We present an evolutionary psychological perspective on social capital. We first suggest that evolutionary psychology provides the most ultimate (as opposed to proximate) theoretical definition and most theoretically driven measures of social capital, by providing a theory of values and specifying what human actors value and want. We then suggest that evolutionary psychology can illuminate certain cognitive constraints and biases to which human actors are subject in their attempt to seek the most efficient means to achieve their ultimate goal of reproductive success. We illustrate the utility of an evolutionary psychological perspective on social capital with its application to some empirical puzzles: Why women have more kin in their personal relationships than men do, and why we are closer to our maternal grandmothers than to our paternal grandfathers.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8H-4X3N3WW-2/2/93e5cbefd48fe3eab45fcb993d192076
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 873-883

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:6:p:873-883
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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    1. Satoshi Kanazawa, 2004. "The Savanna Principle," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 41-54.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Joseph Henrich, 2003. "Is Strong Reciprocity a Maladaptation? On the Evolutionary Foundations of Human Altruism," CESifo Working Paper Series 859, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis, 2000. "On some implications of evolutionary psychology for the study of preferences and institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-99, September.
    4. Donald Cox, 2007. "Biological Basics and the Economics of the Family," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 91-108, Spring.
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