October 4, 2015
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University of Guelph Neuroscience & Applied Cognitive Science
Description & Application

Dr. Pat Barclay

Click here for my CV

Address and Contact Information

Pat Barclay

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychology

3009 MacKinnon Extension

University of Guelph

Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1

Phone: 1-519-824-4120 ext. 58247

Fax: 1-519-837-8629

E-mail: barclayp[insert the "at" symbol]uoguelph.ca


In my research, I study cooperation, the reasons for its existence, and the psychological mechanisms that underlie cooperative action. In particular, I focus on costly cooperation and punishment within human groups in social dilemmas such as the provision of public goods. I use an evolutionary psychological framework to generate hypotheses about human prosocial behavior. By using this approach, my research tries to understand when and why people help others, what design features in the brain promote altruistic behaviour, and what selective pressures could have resulted in the brain being designed this way. To do so, I typically use experimental cooperative games involving money (such as the well-known Prisoner's Dilemma and public goods games) where participants can make decisions that benefit themselves, others, or both. In addition, I am beginning to develop mathematical models (evolutionary game theory) to advance our theoretical understanding of cooperation.

Within these broad topics, I have several more specific and overlapping lines of research (click for details).

Want a video? Here is my keynote talk at the University of Toronto in 2012, as recorded by the conference organizers.(click for video)


Please feel free to e-mail me for a copy of any of the following.

Refereed Publications

Barclay, P., & Benard, S. (in press). Who cries wolf, and when: manipulation of perceived threats to preserve rank in cooperative groups. To appear in PLOS ONE (available as of Sept 12th 2013) .

Sparks, A., & Barclay, P. (2013). Eyes increase generosity, but not for long: the limited effect of a false cue. Evolution & Human Behavior, 34, 317-322.

Barclay, P. (2013). Strategies for cooperation in biological markets, especially in humans. Evolution & Human Behavior, 34, 164-175. 

Barker, J., Barclay, P., & Reeve, H. K. (2013). Competition over personal resources favors contributions to shared resources in human groups. PLOS ONE, 8(3), e58826.

Barclay, P. (2012). Harnessing the power of reputation: strengths and limits for promoting cooperative behaviours. Evolutionary Psychology, 10(5), 868-883. click here for pdf

Barclay, P., & Reeve, H.K. (2012). The varying relationship between helping and individual quality. Behavioral Ecology, 23(4), 693-698. click here for pdf

Barker, J., Barclay, P., & Reeve, H.K. (2012). Within-group cooperation reduces cooperation and payoffs in human groups. Behavioral Ecology, 23(4), 735-741. click here for pdf

Barclay, P. (2011). Competitive helping increases with the size of biological markets and invades defection. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 281, 47-55. click here for pdf

Barclay, P. (2010). Altruism as a courtship display: Some effects of third-party generosity on audience perceptions. British Journal of Psychology, 101, 123-135. click here for pdf

Kiyonari, T., & Barclay, P. (2008). Free-riding may be thwarted by second-order rewards rather than punishment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(4), 826-842. click here for pdf

Barclay, P. (2008). Enhanced recognition of defectors depends on their rarity. Cognition, 107, 817-828. click here for pdf

Krupp, D. B., DeBruine, L. M., & Barclay, P. (2008). A cue of kinship promotes cooperation for the public good. Evolution & Human Behavior, 29, 49-55. Winner of the New Investigator Award at the international Human Behavior & Evolution Society (HBES) meeting in June, 2005. click here for pdf

Barclay, P., & Willer, R. (2007). Partner choice creates competitive altruism in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, 274, 749-753. click here for pdf

Barclay, P. (2006). Reputational benefits for altruistic punishment. Evolution and Human Behavior, 27, 325-344. click here for pdf

Barclay, P., & Lalumière, M. (2006). Do people differentially remember cheaters? Human Nature, 17(1), 98-113. click here for pdf

Barclay, P. (2004). Trustworthiness and Competitive Altruism Can Also Solve the "Tragedy of the Commons". Evolution & Human Behavior, 25(4), 209-220. Winner of the New Investigator Award at the international Human Behavior & Evolution Society (HBES) meeting in June, 2003. click here for pdf

Books and Book Chapters

Kafashan, S., Sparks, A., Griskevicius, V., & Barclay, P. (in press). Prosocial behaviour and social status. To appear in J. T. Cheng, J. L. Tracy, & C. Anderson (Eds.) The Psychology of Social Status, New York, NY: Springer.

Barclay, P., & Van Vugt, M. (in press). The evolutionary psychology of human prosociality: adaptations, mistakes, and byproducts. To appear in D. Schroeder & W. Graziaono (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Prosocial Behavior. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. (This chapter is being reused with permission as a chapter within P. Van Lange et al.'s forthcoming book Social Dilemmas: The Psychology of Human Cooperation.) click here for original chapter

Barclay, P., & Kiyonari, T. (in press). Why sanction? Functional causes of punishment and reward. To appear in P. van Lange, B. Rockenbach, & T. Yamagishi (Eds.) Social Dilemmas: New Perspectives on Reward and Punishment. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. click here for current version

Barclay, P. (2011). The evolution of charitable behaviour and the power of reputation. In C. Roberts (Ed.) Applied Evolutionary Psychology, pp. 149-172. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. click here for pdf

Barclay, P. (2010). Reputation and the Evolution of Generous Behavior. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. click for pdf

Non-Refereed Publications

Sparks, A., Mishra, S., & Barclay, P. (in press). Fundamental freedoms and the psychology of threat, bargaining, and inequality. To appear in Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Barclay, P. (2013). Pathways to Abnormal Revenge and Forgiveness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36, 17-18.

Barclay, P. (2012). Proximate and ultimate causes of strong reciprocity and punishment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35(1), 16-17. click here for pdf  

Barclay, P. (2010). Reputation and the Evoluton of Generous Behavior. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. click here for pdf

Krupp, D. B., & Barclay, P. (2010). Margo Wilson (1942-2009). Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 8(1), 1-3. click here for pdf

Barclay, P. (2008). Using the hatchet and burying it afterwards - A review of "Beyond revenge: The evolution of the forgiveness instinct". Invited book review for Evolution & Human Behavior, 29(6), 450-451. click here for pdf

Barclay, P. (2006). Dissertation abstract: Reputational benefits of altruism and altruistic punishment. Experimental Economics, 9(2), 181-182. click here for pdf

Krupp, D.B., Barclay, P., Daly, M., Kiyonari, T., Dingle, G., & Wilson, M. (2005). Let's add some psychology (and maybe even some evolution) to the mix. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 28(6), 828-829. click here for pdf

Barclay, P., & Daly, M. (2003). Humans should be individualistic and utility-maximizing, but not necessarily "rational". Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 26(2), 154-155. click here for pdf

Applied Cognitive Science | University of Guelph