Stern-judging: A simple, successful norm which promotes cooperation under indirect reciprocity

Jorge M. Pacheco, Francisco C. Santos, Fábio Augusto da Costa Carvalho Chalub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study the evolution of cooperation under indirect reciprocity, believed to constitute the biological basis of morality. We employ an evolutionary game theoretical model of multilevel selection, and show that natural selection and mutation lead to the emergence of a robust and simple social norm, which we call stern-judging. Under stern-judging, helping a good individual or refusing help to a bad individual leads to a good reputation, whereas refusing help to a good individual or helping a bad one leads to a bad reputation. Similarly for tit-for-tat and win-stay-lose-shift, the simplest ubiquitous strategies in direct reciprocity, the lack of ambiguity of stern-judging, where implacable punishment is compensated by prompt forgiving, supports the idea that simplicity is often associated with evolutionary success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1634-1638
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Volume2
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • ALTRUISTIC PUNISHMENT
  • SOCIAL NORMS
  • EVOLUTION
  • COEVOLUTION

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