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Consistent strategy updating in spatial and non-spatial behavioral experiments does not promote cooperation in social networks

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56887

Röhl,  Torsten
Research Group Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56825

Milinski,  Manfred
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56973

Traulsen,  Arne
Research Group Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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journal.pone.0047718.pdf
(Publisher version), 581KB

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Citation

Grujić, J., Röhl, T., Semmann, D., Milinski, M., & Traulsen, A. (2012). Consistent strategy updating in spatial and non-spatial behavioral experiments does not promote cooperation in social networks. PLoS One, 7(11): e47718. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047718.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-2000-5
Abstract
The presence of costly cooperation between otherwise selfish actors is not trivial. A prominent mechanism that promotes cooperation is spatial population structure. However, recent experiments with human subjects report substantially lower level of cooperation then predicted by theoretical models. We analyze the data of such an experiment in which a total of 400 players play a Prisoner’s Dilemma on a 4|4 square lattice in two treatments, either interacting via a fixed square lattice (15 independent groups) or with a population structure changing after each interaction (10 independent groups). We analyze the statistics of individual decisions and infer in which way they can be matched with the typical models of evolutionary game theorists. We find no difference in the strategy updating between the two treatments. However, the strategy updates are distinct from the most popular models which lead to the promotion of cooperation as shown by computer simulations of the strategy updating. This suggests that the promotion of cooperation by population structure is not as straightforward in humans as often envisioned in theoretical models.