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Evolution and Human Behavior 24 2003 418 425 On intrapersonal reciprocity David Haig Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Harvard University 26 Oxford Street Cambridge MA 02138 USA Received 26 June 2003 received in revised form 5 August 2003 Abstract The existence of conflicts between different sets of genes within the genome is now widely accepted But where there is conflict there are also benefits to be gained from cooperation between the contending parties to reduce conflict costs The potential for reciprocal altruism Trivers 1971 within an individual organism has hitherto attracted little attention but raises the possibility of complex interactions within the self D 2003 Elsevier Inc All rights reserved Keywords Internal conflict Genomic imprinting Reciprocity Prisoner s Dilemma 1 Introduction Introspection suggests that I often attempt to modify my own behavior by an internally voiced mixture of exhortation bribes and threats Such intrapersonal cajolement has limited effectiveness in part because threats and promises to myself lack credibility If I renege on a contract with myself who will enforce sanctions If I offer myself a reward now for later good behavior why am I bound to fulfil the second half of the bargain Is it credible that I would knowingly do harm to myself to punish a past transgression The existence of intrapersonal persuasion poses a philosophical conundrum I know what I know and I know what I want So why do I need to persuade myself of anything One might argue that internal bargaining is simply a reuse or misapplication of tools that are effective in the control of others behavior to self control I modify my behavior in response to the threats Tel 1 617 496 5125 fax 1 617 495 5667 E mail address dhaig oeb harvard edu D Haig 1090 5138 03 see front matter D 2003 Elsevier Inc All rights reserved doi 10 1016 S1090 5138 03 00063 1 D Haig Evolution and Human Behavior 24 2003 418 425 419 and bribes of others and in turn use threats and

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