Schoolchildren cooperate more successfully with non-kin than with siblings

The expression “blood is thicker than water” illustrates the common view that familial bonds are stronger than other social bonds. While human adults clearly prefer to cooperate with family members, a recent study investigates if the same is true for children. Surprisingly, the authors show that children cooperated better with non-relatives than siblings. Cooperation increased perceptions of friendship among non-friends which should help children expand their social network and improve future success. This new result shows that preferences in cooperation are not stable through life and challenges our understanding of the development of cooperation in humans and other longer-lived organisms.

A new paper forthcoming in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. written by 2 formers fellows, 2 currents researchers and co authors

Read the article published online today

Barragan-Jason Gladys, Cauchoix Maxime, Regnier Anne, Bourjade Marie, Hopfensitz Astrid and Chaine Alexis S., 2021, Schoolchildren cooperate more successfully with non-kin than with siblings, Proc. R. Soc. B.28820202951,

Photos by Denis Cauchoix