© 2016 Shahrier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Cooperation and competition are core issues in various fields, since they are claimed to affect the evolution of human societies and ecological organizations. A long-standing debate has existed on how social behaviors and preferences are shaped with culture. Considering the economic environment as part of culture, this study examines whether the ongoing modernization of competitive societies, called "capitalism," affects the evolution of people's social preferences and behaviors. To test this argument, we implemented field experiments of social value orientation and surveys with 1002 respondents for three different areas of Bangladesh: (i) rural, (ii) transitional and (iii) capitalistic societies. The main result reveals that with the evolution from rural to capitalistic societies, people are likely to be less prosocial and more likely to be competitive. In a transitional society, there is a considerable proportion of "unidentified" people, neither proself nor prosocial, implying the potential existence of unstable states during a transformation period from rural to capitalistic societies. We also find that people become more proself with increasing age, education and number of children. These results suggest that important environmental, climate change or sustainability problems, which require cooperation rather than competition, will pose more danger as societies become capitalistic.
Shahrier, S., Kotani, K., & Kakinaka, M. (2016). Social value orientation and capitalism in societies. PLoS ONE, 11(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0165067