The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Reputation dynamics in a Dominican village: altruism, economic compentency, and social affiliation


Anthropology, Oregon State University

Saturday All day, Plaza Level Add to calendar

Reputations are a ubiquitous feature of human social life and have theoretical and practical importance across a range of contexts including: reproduction, collective action problems, mental and physical health, and human development. Developmental psychologists suggest reputations have great within-individual stability and are likely a dimension of personality, while theoretical biologists suggest reputations have potentially great within-individual flexibility and fluctuate according to behavioral modification. Despite the importance of reputations, little research exists concerning the causes of reputation change in naturalistic human settings. Two years of behavioral and reputation data from a smallholder Dominican village is presented. Analyses suggest reputations for altruism and labor competency generally are stable over time; however, behavioral modification in economic production can cause reputation change. Interestingly, reputations do not change according to the mechanisms of standing or image scoring strategies as theoretical biologists predict. A novel perspective on reputation dynamics is attempted.

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