About one-third of a given population may be willing to work cooperatively, researchers in Spain found.
Francisco Marcellan of the Fundacion Ibercivis and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Miguel Angel Garcia of the Aragon regional government and Ricardo Cavero of the Zaragoza municipal government and colleagues said a total of 1,303 high school students in Aragon participated in an online scientific-social experiment.
The preliminary results proved that in certain parameters there are differences regarding the level of cooperation.
For example, in relation to the sex of the participants, girls cooperated 10 percent more than did boys. a clear difference also was observed according to the type of secondary school program studied, with students of humanities and social sciences obtaining a level of cooperation 4 percent higher than those studying scientific technology.
However, there were no important differences regarding the number of family members of the students -- whether they were only children or had more siblings -- nor were there differences according to their geographical origins -- if they were from rural or urban areas.
In global terms, a 35 percent rate of cooperation was observed in the participants, which means that about one of three students cooperated, the study said.
Another conclusion of the study found about 5 percent always try to help their neighbors, about 35 percent never help, and 60 percent cooperate according to their mood or depending on what their neighbors did previously.