Swiss scientists have discovered that children above a certain age are driven by both genes and social factors to share with others even if they don't have to. The Associated Press reported this week that the scientists gave kids in different age ranges tasks to divide candy amongst each others.

Three and four year olds were always trying to keep all the candy for themselves, but seven-to-eight year olds were trying to share fairly with others most of the time, even if that meant getting less candy for themselves. From the article:

"The study, published in the British journal Nature, could help explain how humans developed the ability to cooperate in large groups of individuals who are unrelated, the researchers say."

To be fair, the AP article doesn't mention file sharing at all, and I doubt the actual study does - but it still soundds like a perfect explanation for the dynamics on P2P networks to me. The study even confirmed that nobody likes leechers:

"But generosity had its limits. (...) (T)he older children were reluctant to let their counterpart have twice as (much candy) as themselves."

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