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Network Reciprocity, Large-Scale Experiments and the Prisoner's Dilemma: The Last Word

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Titel Network Reciprocity, Large-Scale Experiments and the Prisoner's Dilemma: The Last Word
Serientitel Agent-­based models and complex techno-­social systems
Autor Sánchez, Angel (Anxo)
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - keine kommerzielle Nutzung - keine Bearbeitung 2.5 Schweiz:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt in unveränderter Form zu jedem legalen und nicht-kommerziellen Zweck nutzen, vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen.
DOI 10.5446/35085
Herausgeber Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich
Erscheinungsjahr 2012
Sprache Englisch

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Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract The strong cooperative attitude of humans defies the paradigm of homo economicus and poses an evolutionary conundrum, because many of our interactions can be framed as Prisoner's Dilemmas or Public Goods Games (“tragedy of the commons”). A very popular explanation for the emergence of cooperation is the existence of an underlying network of contacts constraining who one can interact with. The past two decades have witnessed a wealth of theoretical studies that have concluded that this “network reciprocity” is indeed possible under a variety of circumstances. Actually, simulations indicate that heterogeneous networks should be particularly efficient in fostering cooperation in social dilemmas. These theoretical results have almost never been put through the test of experiments, and most of the few available experimental works deal with very small networks. I will present the results of experiments on two large networks, with 1229 human subjects, placed either on a square lattice or on a scale-­‐free network. Despite their very different structure, the level of cooperation reached in both networks was the same and comparable to that found in smaller ones or in unstructured populations. These results definitely rule out network reciprocity as a valid hypothesis to explain the emergence of cooperation among humans involved in a Prisoner's Dilemma, and point to the fact that humans seem to disregard payoff differences with their neighbours, adopting a more reciprocal attitude, as the key factor.

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