Cooperation Improves Success during Intergroup Competition: An Analysis Using Data from Professional Soccer Tournaments

David, Gwendolyn Kim and Wilson, Robbie Stuart (2015) Cooperation Improves Success during Intergroup Competition: An Analysis Using Data from Professional Soccer Tournaments. PLoS One, 10 8: e0136503.-e0136503.. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136503


Author David, Gwendolyn Kim
Wilson, Robbie Stuart
Title Cooperation Improves Success during Intergroup Competition: An Analysis Using Data from Professional Soccer Tournaments
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2015-08
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0136503
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 8
Start page e0136503.
End page e0136503.
Total pages 10
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The benefit mutually gained by cooperators is considered the ultimate explanation for why cooperation evolved among non-relatives. During intergroup competition, cooperative behaviours within groups that provide a competitive edge over their opposition should be favoured by selection, particularly in lethal human warfare. Aside from forming larger groups, three other ways that individuals within a group can cooperate to improve their chances of gaining a mutual benefit are: (i) greater networking, (ii) contributing more effort, and (iii) dividing labour. Greater cooperation is expected to increase the chances of gaining a group benefit by improving proficiency in the tasks critical to success—yet empirical tests of this prediction using real-world cases are absent. In this study, we used data derived from 12 international and professional soccer competitions to test the predictions that: 1) greater levels of cooperative behaviour are associated with winning group contests, 2) the three forms of cooperation differ in relative importance for winning matches, 3) competition and tournament-type affect the levels of cooperation and shooting proficiency in matches, and 4) greater levels of networking behaviour are associated with increased proficiency in the most critical task linked with winning success in soccer—shooting at goal. Winners were best predicted by higher shooting proficiency, followed by greater frequencies of networking interactions within a team but unexpectedly, fewer networking partners and less division of labour. Although significant variation was detected across competitions and tournament-types, greater levels of networking behaviour were consistently associated with increased proficiency in shooting at goal, which in turn was linked with winning success. This study empirically supports the idea that intergroup competition can favour cooperation among non-relatives.
Keyword Group Selection
Evolution
Altruism
Culture
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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