Studying long-standing institutions for governing common pool resources at various scales can provide important lessons for governing new kinds of shared resources. In the end, institutionalizing effective processes for ongoing negotiation of the rules is more important than the rules themselves.
Innate human propensities for cooperation with strangers, shaped during the Pleistocene in response to rapidly changing environments, could have provided highly adaptive social instincts that more recently coevolved with cultural institutions; although the biological capacity for primate sociality evolved genetically, the authors propose that channeling of tribal instincts via symbol systems has involved a cultural transmission and selection that continues the evolution of cooperative human capacities at a cultural rather than genetic level — and pace.
The unique properties and probable origins of human cooperation are important problems linking cultural evolutionary theory and social psychology; the interplay of innate psychological factors, social institutions, individual preferences and population effects constitute promising fields for future interdisciplinary research.
Symbiosis, the "living together of differently named organisms" is far more important in the evolution of life and the functioning of organisms and ecologies than the competition-centric views of Darwin's early defenders asserted, and may be the key driving force in the evolution of life on earth.
Wilson argues that religious systems (sets of belief and moral codes) are biological adaptations that allow individuals to act collectively and survive in distinct social and economic contexts relative to other groups.
Deindividuation theory is a social psychological account of the individual in the crowd that postulates that the psychological state of deindividuation brings about anti-normative and disinhibited behavior in the individual members.
Most issues related to the social, political and economic changes we are witnessing today due to the emergence and use of technologies of cooperation can be analyzed by using a matrix tracking levels of knowledge on one axis, and levels of interactivity of the other axis.
Although significant differences remain between biological and human economic markets, such well known biological phenomena as mating markets and partner markets can be understood more fully by looking through the lens of economic models.
Institutional arrangements embedded in a complex social context of rules and norms such as trust can overcome the deterioration and depletion of common-pool resources arising from individuals' rational self-interest; specific arrangements tailored to the inherent characteristics of a common-pool resource and the users can provide the optimal sustainable management of that resource.