The simplicity of cooperation: Conditional movement rules promote cooperation

C Athena Aktipis, John Pepper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Standard evolutionary and economic approaches to understanding cooperation assume that individual self-interest is the natural state of the world. In that view, cooperation is only viable among individuals with sufficient cognitive complexity to overcome the 'natural' state of defection through such abilities as individual recognition, memory, punishment, commitment and other incentive and enforcement systems. The present paper challenges the view that complex cognitive abilities are necessary for the evolution of cooperation by describing the findings of two models of the evolution of cooperation: the Walk Away and environmental feedback models. In these models, individuals simply leave regions in which they receive low returns. Because the presence of defectors reduces the quality of the local environment, regions with defectors are less stable than regions of cooperators. The individual level behavior in these models generates aggregate dynamics that promote positive assortment and selection for cooperation via group selection. The basic findings of the Walk Away and environmental feedback models suggest that complex cognitive abilities may not be necessary for the evolution of cooperation and that cooperation may be the 'state of nature' in a wider variety of contexts than previously assumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings - 6th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association, ESSA 2009
EditorsBruce Edmonds, Nigel Gilbert
PublisherThe European Social Simulation Association (ESSA)
ISBN (Electronic)1844690172
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Event6th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association, ESSA 2009 - Guildford, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 14 2009Sep 18 2009

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings - 6th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association, ESSA 2009

Other

Other6th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association, ESSA 2009
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGuildford
Period9/14/099/18/09

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation

Cite this

Aktipis, C. A., & Pepper, J. (2009). The simplicity of cooperation: Conditional movement rules promote cooperation. In B. Edmonds, & N. Gilbert (Eds.), Conference Proceedings - 6th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association, ESSA 2009 (Conference Proceedings - 6th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association, ESSA 2009). The European Social Simulation Association (ESSA).