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When in Rome, do as the Romans do: the coevolution of altruistic punishment, conformist learning, and cooperation

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  • Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés
  • Rodríguez-Sickert, Carlos
  • Rowthorn, Robert

Abstract

We model the coevolution of behavioral strategies and social learning rules in the context of a cooperative dilemma, a situation in which individuals must decide whether or not to subordinate their own interests to those of the group. There are two learning rules in our model, conformism and payoff-dependent imitation, which evolve by natural selection, and three behavioral strategies, cooperate, defect, and cooperate plus punish defectors, which evolve under the influence of the prevailing learning rules. Group and individual level selective pressures drive evolution. We also simulate our model for conditions that approximate those in which early hominids lived. We find that conformism can evolve when the only problem that individuals face is a cooperative dilemma, in which prosocial behavior is always costly to the individual. Furthermore, the presence of conformists dramatically increases the group size for which cooperation can be sustained. The results of our model are robust: they hold even when migration rates are high, and when conflict among groups is infrequent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2037.

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Date of creation: 06 Apr 2006
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Publication status: Published in Evolution and Human Behavior 2.28(2007): pp. 112-117
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2037

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Related research

Keywords: Evolution of behavior; Social learning; Cooperation; Conformism; Altruistic punishment; Public good games;

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  1. Marcus W. Feldman & Kenichi Aoki & Jochen Kumm, 1996. "Individual Versus Social Learning: Evolutionary Analysis in a Fluctuating Environment," Working Papers 96-05-030, Santa Fe Institute.
  2. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
  3. Henrich, Joseph, 2004. "Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-35, January.
  4. Samuel Bowles & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2000. "The Co-evolution of Individual Behaviors and Social Institutions," Working Papers 00-12-073, Santa Fe Institute.
  5. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Wolff, Irenaeus, 2009. "Counterpunishment revisited: an evolutionary approach," MPRA Paper 16923, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Salomonsson, Marcus, 2009. "Group Selection: The quest for social preferences," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 712, Stockholm School of Economics.

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