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Study assesses cooperation networks in Legislature

They also found lots of reciprocity‚ÄĒsponsors were likely to cooperate more in the future. Members of the same gender increased the likelihood that politicians would reciprocate. Surprisingly, party affiliation decreased the likelihood of reciprocation, suggesting that relationships built across the aisle were valued more and legislators kept a good standing with their colleague to collaborate into the future.

"In politics, you need to know how to play a game that has two sets of rules. There are explicit rules, as in the constitution, and the non-explicit rules, as in humans negotiating social relationships," said senior author Shane Macfarlan, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Utah. "In Utah, you have to play both."

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Last Updated: 4/18/22