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Imitation and Cooperation in Different Helping Games



The relation between imitation and cooperation in evolutionary settings presents complex aspects. From one hand, in any environment where egoists are favored over cooperators by selection processes, imitation should lead to a further spreading of the former ones due to the combined processes of individual selection and replication of successful behaviors. On the other hand, if cooperators succeed in forming clusters of mutual helping individuals, imitation may have a positive effect on cooperation by further reproducing this locally dominant behavior. This paper explores the relationship between imitation and cooperation by mean of a simulation model based on two different Helping games. Our model shows that different imitation mechanisms can favor the spreading of cooperation under a wide range of conditions. Moreover, the interplay of imitation and other factors — e.g. the possibility of performing “conditional associations” strategies — can further foster the success of cooperative agents.

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  • Giangiacomo Bravo, 2007. "Imitation and Cooperation in Different Helping Games," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(1), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2007-65-2

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    1. David Joyce & John Kennison & Owen Densmore & Stephen Guerin & Shawn Barr & Eric Charles & Nicholas S. Thompson, 2006. "My Way or the Highway: a More Naturalistic Model of Altruism Tested in an Iterative Prisoners' Dilemma," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 9(2), pages 1-4.
    2. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
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    4. Seinen, Ingrid & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Social status and group norms: Indirect reciprocity in a repeated helping experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 581-602, April.
    5. M.A. Nowak & K. Sigmund, 1998. "Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity by Image Scoring/ The Dynamics of Indirect Reciprocity," Working Papers ir98040, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    6. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    7. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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