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War spawns cooperation, plus microloan payoffs, preschool’s benefits and more in this week’s news

2:39pm, June 13, 2011

Fighting to get along
War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing except cooperation. Violent conflict makes it more likely that people on the same side will sacrifice to punish uncooperative comrades and reward accommodating ones, say marketing professor Ayelet Gneezy of the University of California, San Diego and anthropologist Daniel Fessler of the University of California, Los Angeles. Israeli volunteers played two-person cooperation games for potential cash payoffs before, during and after Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah. Wartime players frequently surrendered money in order to deny payments to noncooperators and gave money to cooperators, the researchers report online June 8 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. —Bruce Bower

Babies see, hear quantities
Infants have eyes and ears for numbers, even when all their mouths do is babble. Psychologist Lisa Feigenson of Joh

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