Game Study Finds Nice Guys Win In The End

WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) — Harvard researchers say the old adage “Nice guys finish last” is not just old, it might be wrong.

One hundred Boston-area college students played the same reward-and-punishment game over and over again. The game gave players two options: cooporate or defect.

The researchers paid players for results. If each cooperated, they were paid a dime. If both defected, they got nothing. And if one cooperated and the other defected the defector got 30 cents and the cooperative player was docked 20 cents.

They then added punishment as an option. If someone didn’t cooperate, they could be fined 40 cents by the other player, but that player also lost a dime.

After more than 8,000 games, the study found that the players who punished their opponents the least made the most money.

A study co-author says the research shows that what’s “best for your own self-interest is to be nice.”

It’s in the journal Nature.