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The rise and fall of cooperation through reputation and group polarization


Gross, Jörg; De Dreu, Carsten K W (2019). The rise and fall of cooperation through reputation and group polarization. Nature Communications, 10:776.

Abstract

Humans exhibit a remarkable capacity for cooperation among genetically unrelated individuals. Yet, human cooperation is neither universal, nor stable. Instead, cooperation is often bounded to members of particular groups, and such groups endogenously form or break apart. Cooperation networks are parochial and under constant reconfiguration. Here, we demonstrate how parochial cooperation networks endogenously emerge as a consequence of simple reputation heuristics people may use when deciding to cooperate or defect. These reputation heuristics, such as "a friend of a friend is a friend" and "the enemy of a friend is an enemy" further lead to the dynamic formation and fission of cooperative groups, accompanied by a dynamic rise and fall of cooperation among agents. The ability of humans to safeguard kin-independent cooperation through gossip and reputation may be, accordingly, closely interlinked with the formation of group-bounded cooperation networks that are under constant reconfiguration, ultimately preventing global and stable cooperation.

Abstract

Humans exhibit a remarkable capacity for cooperation among genetically unrelated individuals. Yet, human cooperation is neither universal, nor stable. Instead, cooperation is often bounded to members of particular groups, and such groups endogenously form or break apart. Cooperation networks are parochial and under constant reconfiguration. Here, we demonstrate how parochial cooperation networks endogenously emerge as a consequence of simple reputation heuristics people may use when deciding to cooperate or defect. These reputation heuristics, such as "a friend of a friend is a friend" and "the enemy of a friend is an enemy" further lead to the dynamic formation and fission of cooperative groups, accompanied by a dynamic rise and fall of cooperation among agents. The ability of humans to safeguard kin-independent cooperation through gossip and reputation may be, accordingly, closely interlinked with the formation of group-bounded cooperation networks that are under constant reconfiguration, ultimately preventing global and stable cooperation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Physical Sciences > General Physics and Astronomy
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:15 Nov 2022 15:37
Last Modified:28 Mar 2024 02:39
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08727-8
PubMed ID:30770812
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)