This commentary seeks to clarify the potential discrepancy between lab-based and field data in the use and effectiveness of punishment to promote cooperation by recommending theory that outlines key differences between the lab and field, such as the shadow of the future and degree of information availability. We also discuss a recent meta-analysis (Balliet et al. 2011) that does not support all conclusions outlined in Guala's target article.
van Lange, P. A. M., Balliet, D. P., & Ijzerman, H. (2012). What we need is theory of human cooperation (and meta-analysis) to bridge the gap between the lab and the wild. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35(1), 41-42. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X11000872