Theoretical biologists test two modes of social reasoning and find surprising truths in simplicity

Imagine a small village where every action someone takes, good or bad, is quietly followed by ever-attentive, nosy neighbors. An individual’s reputation is built through these actions and observations, which determines how others will treat them. They help a neighbor and are likely to receive help from others in return; they turn their back on a neighbor and find themselves isolated. But what happens when people make mistakes, when good deeds go unnoticed, or errors lead to unjust blame?

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