Lee Cronk

Lee Cronk
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | Rutgers · Department of Anthropology

Ph.D.

About

113
Publications
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2,496
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Publications

Publications (113)
Preprint
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After decades of research on the topic of reciprocity, there is still no consensus about the meaning of the term. Instead, there has been a proliferation of reciprocity terms with varied definitions, some of which overlap in ways that lead to confusion for scholars studying cooperation. In this paper, we provide a summary of 35 reciprocity terms an...
Article
Friendships provide social support and mental health benefits, yet the COVID-19 pandemic has limited interactions with friends. In August 2020, we asked participants (N = 634) about their friendships during the pandemic as part of a larger study. We found that younger people and people with higher subjective SES reported more negative effects on th...
Article
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Maasai and other Maa-speaking pastoralists in Kenya and Tanzania have a risk-pooling system that they refer to by their word for the umbilical cord (osotua). Gifts from one osotua partner to another are contingent on the recipient’s need and do not create any debt. We refer to such gifts as need-based transfers. Maa-speakers also have a system of d...
Article
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Extreme weather conditions in the face of due to climate change often disproportionately affects the weakest members of society. Agricultural insurance programs that are specifically designed specifically for smallholders in developing countries are valuable tools that can help farmers to cope with the resulting risks. A broad range of methods incl...
Preprint
Given the importance of friendships during challenging times and the mixed associations reported between personality traits and disease-related behaviors, we investigated the influence of personality traits on friendships during the COVID-19 pandemic and how both influenced risky behaviors. In November 2020, we asked participants about their reacti...
Article
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To better understand risk management and mutual aid among American ranchers, we interviewed and mailed a survey to ranchers in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, and Cochise County, Arizona, focusing on two questions: (1) When do ranchers expect repayment for the help they provide others? (2) What determines ranchers’ degrees of involvement in networks of...
Article
In times of crisis, risk pooling can enhance the resilience of individuals, households and communities. Risk-pooling systems are most effective when their participants adhere to several principles: (1) participants should agree that the pool is for needs that arise unpredictably, not for routine, predictable needs; (2) giving to those in need shoul...
Preprint
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Despite continued transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and sustained recommendations to wear protective face coverings, many people remained reluctant to comply throughout the early months of the pandemic. In the present study we surveyed an international cohort of participants on three different occasions from July to August, 2020 (N = 695) to examine the r...
Preprint
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What explains differences in attitudes towards wearing protective face masks to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus? We investigated potential drivers of attitudes about mask wearing as part of a longitudinal study during the COVID-19 pandemic (N-participants = 711, N-countries = 36), focusing on people’s perceptions and feelings about seeing...
Preprint
Friendships are important for social support and mental health, yet social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic have limited people’s ability to interact with their friends during this difficult time. In August of 2020, we asked participants about changes in their friendships as a result of the pandemic - including changes in the quality of frie...
Preprint
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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing protective facial masks has become a divisive issue, yet little is known about what drives differences in mask wearing across individuals. We surveyed 711 people around the world, asking about mask wearing and several other variables. We found that people who reported greater perceived risk of i...
Article
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Status Does Not Predict Stress: Women in an Egalitarian Hunter-Gatherer Society - Piotr Fedurek, Laurent Lacroix, Julia Lehmann, Athena Aktipis, Lee Cronk, Cathryn Townsend, E. Jerryson Makambi, Ibrahim Mabulla, Volker Behrends, J. Colette Berbesque
Article
Need-based transfer systems pool risk among interdependent individuals. Such arrangements are bound by two simple rules: Ask for help only when in need and, if you are able, give help to others who ask. But there may be a temptation for individuals to break these rules for short-term personal profit. Here, we study one factor that may enforce hones...
Preprint
Full-text available
Do crises bring people together or pull them apart? Here we examine how people’s willingness to help others and their perceived interdependence with others changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and assess what factors are associated with any change. We collected data at 4 time points from the same cohort of 497 paid participants, starting on March...
Article
Full-text available
Ik of Uganda cooperate in dictator games especially when need, supernatural punishment invoked - Cathryn Townsend, Athena Aktipis, Daniel Balliet, Lee Cronk
Preprint
Fitness interdependence refers to the degree to which two or more organisms influence each other’s success in replicating their genes. We designed a new scale of perceived fitness interdependence that explicitly measures how individuals’ feelings and outcomes covary with the outcomes of specific partners (e.g., “When [target] succeeds, I feel good....
Preprint
Need-based transfer systems function to pool risk. Such arrangements are bound by two simple rules: Ask for help only when in need and, if you are able, give help to others who ask. But there is a temptation for individuals to break these rules for short-term personal profit. Here, we study one factor that may enforce honesty in need-based transfer...
Article
Full-text available
Risk management is a problem humans have faced throughout history and across societies. One way to manage risk is to transfer it to other parties through formal and informal insurance systems. One informal method of self-insurance is limited risk pooling, where individuals can ask for help only when in need. Models suggest that need-based transfer...
Chapter
Full-text available
Risk is inevitable, and managing it is an important component of individual and community strategies to adapt to local conditions. In this chapter we provide an overview of the risk management frameworks in eight communities to show how each society manages risk socially. We focus especially on the use of need-based transfers to buffer the effects...
Article
Water sharing between households could crucially mitigate short‐term household water shortages, yet it is a vastly understudied phenomenon. Here we use comparative survey data from eight sites in seven sub‐Saharan African countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda) to answer three questions: Wit...
Preprint
Although genetic relatedness has been shown to be an important determinant of helping and other forms of cooperation among kin, it does not correspond well to the different types of kin designated by the kin terminologies used in human societies. This mismatch between genetic relatedness and kin terms has led some anthropologists to reject the idea...
Article
Although genetic relatedness has been shown to be an important determinant of helping and other forms of cooperation among kin, it does not correspond well to the different types of kin designated by the kin terminologies used in human societies. This mismatch between genetic relatedness and kin terms has led some anthropologists to reject the idea...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Because parental care is expected to depend on the fitness returns generated by each unit of investment, it should be sensitive to both offspring condition and parental ability to invest. The Trivers-Willard Hypothesis (TWH) predicts that parents who are in good condition will bias investment towards sons, while parents who are in poor con...
Article
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Human foragers are obligately group-living, and their high dependence on mutual aid is believed to have characterized our species' social evolution. It was therefore a central adaptive problem for our ancestors to avoid damaging the willingness of other group members to render them assistance. Cognitively, this requires a predictive map of the degr...
Article
Water sharing offers insight into the everyday and, at times, invisible ties that bind people and households with water and to one another. Water sharing can take many forms, including so‐called “pure gifts,” balanced exchanges, and negative reciprocity. In this study, we examine water sharing between households as a culturally embedded practice th...
Article
Full-text available
Some acts of human cooperation are not easily explained by traditional models of kinship or reciprocity. Fitness interdependence may provide a unifying conceptual framework, in which cooperation arises from the mutual dependence for survival or reproduction, as occurs among mates, risk-pooling partnerships and brothers-in-arms.
Article
While the positive effect of makeup on attractiveness is well established, there has been less exploration into other possible functions of makeup use. Here we investigated whether one function of makeup is to signal sociosexuality. Using a large, well-controlled set of photographs, we found that faces with makeup were perceived to have more unrest...
Article
Full-text available
Fitness interdependence is the degree to which two or more organisms influence each other's success in replicating their genes. Identity fusion may be a proximate mechanism that aligns behavior with fitness interdependence. Although identity fusion may usually lead to behaviors that are fitness enhancing, in evolutionarily novel environments, it ma...
Preprint
Full-text available
Throughout their evolutionary history, humans have faced risks including drought, disease, natural disasters and other unexpected negative events. To deal with these risks, humans use a variety of risk management strategies, some of which involve relying on others in times of need in order to pool risk. However, the effectiveness of risk pooling st...
Article
Full-text available
Using an agent-based model to study risk-pooling in herder dyads using rules derived from Maasai osotua (“umbilical cord”) relationships, Aktipis et al. (2011) found that osotua transfers led to more risk-pooling and better herd survival than both no transfers and transfers that occurred at frequencies tied to those seen in the osotua simulations....
Article
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Although culture is often used to explain behavior, we have little understanding of why some culture traits have impacts on behavior while others do not. Because culture traits can lead to maladaptive as well as to adaptive behaviors, gene–culture coevolution should have led predispositions that help us make good choices about which culture traits...
Article
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Need-based transfers are a widespread form of human cooperation across cultures that enhance survival in marginal environments. Examples include central place food sharing among foragers and stock friendships among pastoralists. Previous models have demonstrated that such systems lead to higher rates of herd survival under volatile ecological condi...
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Although the study of signals has been part of human behavioral ecology since the field's inception,(1) only recently has signaling theory become important to the evolutionary study of human behavior and culture.(2) Signaling theory's rise to prominence has been propelled mainly by applications of costly signaling theory,(3) which has shed light on...
Article
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Smaldino argues that evolutionary theories of social behavior do not adequately explain the emergence of group-level traits, including differentiation of roles and organized interactions among individuals. We find Smaldino's account to be commendable but incomplete. Our commentary focuses on a simple question that has not been adequately addressed:...
Article
"From the family to the workplace to the marketplace, every facet of our lives is shaped by cooperative interactions. Yet everywhere we look, we are confronted by proof of how difficult cooperation can be--snarled traffic, polarized politics, overexploited resources, social problems that go ignored. The benefits to oneself of a free ride on the eff...
Chapter
This chapter examines the concept of adaptation and how it is applied (and sometimes misapplied) to cooperation. It starts with George C. Williams's idea that adaptation is a “special and onerous concept that should be used only where it is really necessary,” which he articulated in Adaptation and Natural Selection . It then considers different lev...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes the book's findings regarding cooperation, coordination, and collective action as well as adaptation and the role that organizations play in fostering cooperation. It first considers four vignettes, each highlighting a contrast between a situation in which cooperation did occur and one in which it did not: water as a common-...
Chapter
This chapter explores the concept of emergence in relation to cooperation, and more specifically how social interactions can lead to the spontaneous emergence of norms, conventions, and other social institutions that help coordinate social behavior. People can coordinate their social behaviors if they have common knowledge both about how to do so a...
Chapter
This book investigates a wide range of ideas, theories, and existing empirical research relevant to the study of the complex and diverse phenomenon of human cooperation. Issues relating to cooperation are examined from the perspective of evolutionary theory, political science, and related social sciences. The book draws upon two bodies of work: Man...
Chapter
This chapter examines the role that institutions and organizations play in making cooperation possible as we go about our everyday lives. Successful organizations are often the ones that build on the successes of previous organizations, using their abilities to mobilize and motivate people and to frame issues to leapfrog over the collective action...
Chapter
This chapter examines the evolutionary roots of the proximate psychological mechanisms that underlie cooperation. The idea that there are specific biological mechanisms behind at least some aspects of cooperation is supported by recent work in behavior genetics. One common technique in behavior genetics is to compare identical twins to fraternal tw...
Chapter
This chapter examines Mancur Olson's arguments, which he articulated in The Logic of Collective Action , and compares them with those of his supporters and detractors. It also reviews the social science literature on cooperation, focusing primarily on the theoretical and empirical research on collective action that grew out of Olson's challenge. Ac...
Chapter
This chapter discusses coordination problems in relation to cooperation. Coordination problems are essentially problems of information: although people would benefit from coordinating their activities, they lack common knowledge about how to do so. Even worse, they may actually have common knowledge about how to solve the problem but not know it. T...
Book
From the family to the workplace to the marketplace, every facet of our lives is shaped by cooperative interactions. Yet everywhere we look, we are confronted by proof of how difficult cooperation can be—snarled traffic, polarized politics, overexploited resources, social problems that go ignored. The benefits to oneself of a free ride on the effor...
Article
Full-text available
The Maasai are a pastoral people in Kenya and Tanzania, whose traditional diet of milk, blood and meat is rich in lactose, fat and cholesterol. In spite of this, they have low levels of blood cholesterol, and seldom suffer from gallstones or cardiac diseases. Field studies in the 1970s suggested that the Maasai have a genetic adaptation for cholest...
Data
Genomic regions identified as selection candidates in MKK using Fst and clustering. SNPs having empirical p-value <0.001 with respect to the distribution of intergenic Fst scores were clustered into regions of high linkage disequilibrium using genotype R2 between SNPs. Clusters with maximum XP-EHH score >3 were identified as being MKK associated. A...
Data
1,232 genic or near-gene SNPs identified by Fst as top candidates for selection (pB<8.6E−6 and pE <0.001). Significance was assessed using an exact permutation test (Bonferroni corrected p-value pB shown in column Q) and an empirical test based on the Fst distribution of intergenic SNPs (pE : column R). Columns H-M list the number of individuals wi...
Data
SNPs identified as candidates for selection in MKK using the XP-EHH statistic, with LWK as the reference population. All SNPs listed have scores exceeding the threshold for genome-wide significance (XP-EHH > = 4.796, two-tailed bonferroni corrected p< = 0.05). (XLSX)
Data
SNPs identified as selection candidates using the iHS metric. Sliding windows of 50 SNPs each were scored for fraction of SNPs with |iHS| >2. SNPs with |iHS| >2 that occur in the top 0.02% of non-overlapping genomic windows are listed. (XLS)
Data
Genomic regions identified as selection candidates in MKK using the iHS statistic. Sliding windows of 50 SNPs each were scored for the fraction of SNPs with |iHS| >2. The top 0.02% of non-overlapping windows were identified as candidates for selection. These windows were then merged on the basis of linkage disequilibrium (estimated using genotype R...
Data
Genomic regions identified as selection candidates in MKK using the XP-EHH statistic, with LWK as the reference population. SNPs with genome-wide significant scores (XP-EHH > = 4.796, two-tailed Bonferroni corrected p< = 0.05) were assigned to a cluster if they had genotype R2≥0.25 with another SNP in the cluster. This identified contiguous genomic...
Data
Details of Fst calculation, p-values and SNP clustering for Fst and XP-EHH. (DOC)
Data
Details of iHS calculation. (DOC)
Data
Full-text available
Plots of Fst, XP-EHH and iHS for all chromosomes. (PDF)
Data
Common regions and SNPs identified to be under selection in MKK by our analysis (using Fst, iHS and XP-EHH) and by the International HapMap Consortium (using the CMS test). Only those SNPs identified by the HapMap Consortium which were also identified by our analysis (i.e. passed genome-wide significance thresholds for the Fst, iHS, and XP-EHH stat...
Data
Details of STRUCTURE calculation. (DOC)
Data
Full-text available
Details of XP-EHH calculation. (PDF)
Data
Details of Sequencing in LCT/MCM6 locus (DOC)
Article
Full-text available
This article highlights the ways in which social anthropology and evolutionary biology converge and complement each other. This is made easier by recognizing that each discipline focuses on different but related phenomena. The evolutionary biology of kinship is about the behaviour of organisms towards their kin and the evolved psychology underlying...
Article
Full-text available
We use agent-based modeling to study osotua, a gift giving system used by the Maasai of East Africa. Osotua’s literal meaning is “umbilical cord,” but it is used metaphorically to refer to a specific type of gift-giving relationship. Osotua relationships are characterized by respect, responsibility and restraint. Osotua partners ask each other for...
Article
We suggest that there are two coordination games when it comes to understanding kin terminology. Jones' article focuses on the linguistic coordination inherent in developing meaningful kin terminologies, alluding briefly to the benefits of these kin terminologies for coordination in other domains. We enhance Jones' discussion by tracing the links b...
Article
Full-text available
To explore the ability of audience effects to shed light on social dynamics, the authors contrasted responses given in individual and joint interviews. Interviews were conducted among the English-speaking residents of Utila, one of Honduras’s Bay Islands. Interviewees were older adults with at least one living adult child and younger adults with at...
Article
This research examined whether individual differences in women’s sexual attitudes and behaviors are associated with men’s ratings of them as desirable long-term mates when men were exposed to only pictures of women’s faces. Links between sexual attitudes and behaviors with the presence of more masculine facial features were also assessed. Women com...
Article
Full-text available
We framed trust games played by Americans with the concept of osotua, a Maasai label for a type of gift-giving relationship shaped by feelings of mutual respect, restraint, and responsibility. As a control, one third of the participants (N = 70) read a text unrelated to social life. The other two-thirds (N = 140) read about Maasai and osotua. Half...
Article
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This article reviews evolutionary biological studies of sex-biased post-natal parental investment that may be relevant to the issue of preconception gender selection. The focus is on tests of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, which predicts that natural selection has favoured parents that bias investment in favour of the sex with the best reproductiv...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of cultural framing on behavior in experimental games were explored with a trust game and the Maasai concept of osotua. Maasai use the term osotua to refer to gift-giving relationships based on obligation, need, respect, and restraint. In the trust game, the first player is given money and an opportunity to give any portion of it to the...