Covey Cowan has worked in the construction industry for over 40 years, serving as a General Contractor, Project Manager, and Jobsite Supervisor on various residential projects in the greater San Francisco area. A long-time student of human nature, he has always been interested in understanding what it takes for people to cooperate.
A new study finds that having a reputation for cooperation may be key to getting other people to cooperate with you. ‘Human beings are among the most cooperative species on the planet. Yet it’s not always safe to cooperate with a stranger. What if they don’t have your interests at heart?
The ability to decide when to cooperate is an important skill for our survival. That’s why we’ve evolved to turn to our social groups for guidance, conforming to group norms when the situation is unclear. In fact, the pull to conform can be so strong that we will not even identify what’s right in front of us if our group says they see something different.
But group conformity is not the only force at work in the decision to cooperate. Research has found that, if strangers act cooperatively towards you or have a reputation for being cooperative, you will likely work with them, because of the expected reciprocal benefits of doing so.
So, which is more powerful in cooperation—those group norms or a reputation for reciprocity? And what happens when they happen to conflict? A new study aimed to find out.'
To read more click, “Reciprocity is an incredibly powerful tool.”
An avid traveler, Covey Cowan counts trips to Nepal and India as some of his most memorable. He has helped build a youth hostel for the Hidden Villa Foundation, raised funds for a school library in a Huichol village in central Mexico, and volunteered his time at The Center for Attitudinal Healing.