The persistence of altruism throughout the evolutionary process has been explained by some on the basis of assortation, which requires the ability to detect dispositional altruism in others and voluntary interaction, resulting in altruism homophily. Numerous studies have identified the ability to detect dispositional altruism in strangers, but few have investigated this ability and altruism homophily in social networks. The purpose of this study is to provide additional evidence with regard to the ability to detect dispositional altruism among individuals who have repeated interactions in a collegiate social organization and the extent of altruism homophily. The results indicate that individuals possess an ability to predict dispositional altruism as measured by behavior in the dictator game and that this ability is a function of social closeness. However, the study does not support the hypothesis of an assortation process that results in altruism homophily.
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Department of Economics (CLA)
Vernarelli, Michael J., "Predicting Altruistic Behavior and Assessing Homophily: Evidence from the Sisterhood" (2016). Sociological Science, 3 (), 889-909. Accessed from
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