Article

Indirect reciprocity provides only a narrow margin of efficiency for costly punishment.

Department of Value and Decision Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 152-8552, Japan.
Nature (Impact Factor: 38.6). 02/2009; 457(7225):79-82. DOI: 10.1038/nature07601
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Indirect reciprocity is a key mechanism for the evolution of human cooperation. Our behaviour towards other people depends not only on what they have done to us but also on what they have done to others. Indirect reciprocity works through reputation. The standard model of indirect reciprocity offers a binary choice: people can either cooperate or defect. Cooperation implies a cost for the donor and a benefit for the recipient. Defection has no cost and yields no benefit. Currently there is considerable interest in studying the effect of costly (or altruistic) punishment on human behaviour. Punishment implies a cost for the punished person. Costly punishment means that the punisher also pays a cost. It has been suggested that costly punishment between individuals can promote cooperation. Here we study the role of costly punishment in an explicit model of indirect reciprocity. We analyse all social norms, which depend on the action of the donor and the reputation of the recipient. We allow errors in assigning reputation and study gossip as a mechanism for establishing coherence. We characterize all strategies that allow the evolutionary stability of cooperation. Some of those strategies use costly punishment; others do not. We find that punishment strategies typically reduce the average payoff of the population. Consequently, there is only a small parameter region where costly punishment leads to an efficient equilibrium. In most cases the population does better by not using costly punishment. The efficient strategy for indirect reciprocity is to withhold help for defectors rather than punishing them.

2 Bookmarks
 · 
103 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Humans constantly adjust their social relationships and choose new partners of good reputations, thereby promoting the evolution of cooperation. Individuals have to pay a cost to build a reputation, obtain others' information and then make partnership adjustments, yet the conditions under which such costly behaviors are able to evolve remain to be explored. In this model, I assume that individuals have to pay a cost to adjust their partnerships. Furthermore, whether an individual can adjust his partnership based on reputation is determined by his strategic preference, which is updated via coevolution. Using the metaphor of a public goods game where the collective benefit is shared among all members of a group, the coupling dynamics of cooperation and partnership adjustment were numerically simulated. Partner-switching behavior cannot evolve in a public goods game with a low amplification factor. However, such an effect can be exempted by raising the productivity of public goods or the frequency of partnership adjustment. Moreover, costly partner-switching behavior is remarkably promoted by the condition that the mechanism of reputation evaluation considers its prosociality. A mechanism of reputation evaluation that praises both cooperative and partner-switching behaviors allows them to coevolve.
    Scientific reports. 01/2014; 4:5957.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the framework of evolutionary games with institutional reciprocity, limited incentives are at disposal for rewarding cooperators and punishing defectors. In the simplest case, it can be assumed that, depending on their strategies, all players receive equal incentives from the common pool. The question arises, however, what is the optimal distribution of institutional incentives? How should we best reward and punish individuals for cooperation to thrive? We study this problem for the public goods game on a scale-free network. We show that if the synergetic effects of group interactions are weak, the level of cooperation in the population can be maximized simply by adopting the simplest "equal distribution" scheme. If synergetic effects are strong, however, it is best to reward high-degree nodes more than low-degree nodes. These distribution schemes for institutional rewards are independent of payoff normalization. For institutional punishment, however, the same optimization problem is more complex, and its solution depends on whether absolute or degree-normalized payoffs are used. We find that degree-normalized payoffs require high-degree nodes be punished more lenient than low-degree nodes. Conversely, if absolute payoffs count, then high-degree nodes should be punished stronger than low-degree nodes.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:248. · 4.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: When faced with the chance to help someone in mortal danger, what is our first response? Do we leap into action, only later considering the risks to ourselves? Or must instinctive self-preservation be overcome by will-power in order to act? We investigate this question by examining the testimony of Carnegie Hero Medal Recipients (CHMRs), extreme altruists who risked their lives to save others. We collected published interviews with CHMRs where they described their decisions to help. We then had participants rate the intuitiveness versus deliberativeness of the decision-making process described in each CHMR statement. The statements were judged to be overwhelmingly dominated by intuition; to be significantly more intuitive than a set of control statements describing deliberative decision-making; and to not differ significantly from a set of intuitive control statements. This remained true when restricting to scenarios in which the CHMRs had sufficient time to reflect before acting if they had so chosen. Text-analysis software found similar results. These findings suggest that high-stakes extreme altruism may be largely motivated by automatic, intuitive processes.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(10):e109687. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
43 Downloads
Available from
May 23, 2014