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Stability of cooperation under image scoring in group interactions

Nax, Heinrich H., Perc, Matjaž, Szolnoki, Attila and Helbing, Dirk (2015) Stability of cooperation under image scoring in group interactions. Scientific Reports, 5. p. 12145. ISSN 2045-2322

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Identification Number: 10.1038/srep12145


Image scoring sustains cooperation in the repeated two-player prisoner’s dilemma through indirect reciprocity, even though defection is the uniquely dominant selfish behaviour in the one-shot game. Many real-world dilemma situations, however, firstly, take place in groups and, secondly, lack the necessary transparency to inform subjects reliably of others’ individual past actions. Instead, there is revelation of information regarding groups, which allows for ‘group scoring’ but not for image scoring. Here, we study how sensitive the positive results related to image scoring are to information based on group scoring. We combine analytic results and computer simulations to specify the conditions for the emergence of cooperation. We show that under pure group scoring, that is, under the complete absence of image-scoring information, cooperation is unsustainable. Away from this extreme case, however, the necessary degree of image scoring relative to group scoring depends on the population size and is generally very small. We thus conclude that the positive results based on image scoring apply to a much broader range of informational settings that are relevant in the real world than previously assumed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2016 15:33
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:19
Projects: Advanced Investigator Grant Momentum 324247, 76-130-35-HiCi, P5-0027, K-101490
Funders: European Research Council, Deanship of Scientific Research, King Abdulaziz University, Slovenian Research Agency, Hungarian National Research Fund

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