New article: The narrow gap between norms and cooperative behaviour in a reindeer herding community

In an new article the authors argue that perceived norms potentially allow social networks promoting cooperation to emerge and be maintained in a Saami reindeer community.

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Matthew Gwynfryn Thomas (NIKU), Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen (NINA) and Marius Warg Næss (NIKU) have recently published a research article in Royal Society Open Science.

Article summary

Cooperation is shaped, in part, by norms: beliefs and expectations about the behaviour of others or of oneself.

Networks of cooperative social partners and their norms are vital for pastoralists, such as Saami reindeer herders in northern Norway.

In one winter district, herders reported optimistic social worlds of complete reciprocity; although actual occurrences of reciprocal cooperation were slightly lower, cooperation in this community was still extensive.

We argue that perceived norms potentially allow social networks promoting cooperation to emerge and be maintained.

Read and download the full article.