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Cooperation, Religion and Faith: A Public Goods Experiment

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Document pages: 50 pages

Abstract: Human cooperation is an evolutionary mystery. People tend to cooperate frequently with genetically unrelated strangers even when reputation gains are small or absent. Religion and or faith could explain this cooperative behaviour. Therefore, this paper tried to find whether religious and or faithful individual contribute relatively more than others. The cooperative behaviour creates the problem of free riding, as there are people who will not contribute and feed of others’ cooperation. The solution to this cooperative behaviour is punishment as suggested by previous literature. Therefore, this paper tried to find out whether punishment had any significant impact on increasing cooperation. Results from the experiment showed that religion did not have any significant impact on cooperation. But, there were significant relationship between faith and cooperation. Very faithful individuals seemed to contribute relatively more, whereas less faithful individuals contributed less. Additionally, punishment had significant impact on increasing cooperation.

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