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Data from: The price of being seen to be just: an intention signalling strategy for indirect reciprocity

Citation

Tanaka, Hiroki; Ohtsuki, Hisashi; Ohtsubo, Yohsuke (2016), Data from: The price of being seen to be just: an intention signalling strategy for indirect reciprocity, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sm454

Abstract

Cooperation among strangers is a marked characteristic of human sociality. One prominent evolutionary explanation for this form of human cooperation is indirect reciprocity, whereby each individual selectively helps people with a ‘good’ reputation, but not those with a ‘bad’ reputation. Some evolutionary analyses have underscored the importance of second-order reputation information (the reputation of a current partner's previous partner) for indirect reciprocity as it allows players to discriminate justified ‘good’ defectors, who selectively deny giving help to ‘bad’ partners, from unjustified ‘bad’ defectors. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether people in fact make use of second-order information in indirect reciprocity settings. As an alternative, we propose the intention signalling strategy, whereby defectors are given the option to abandon a resource as a means of expunging their ‘bad’ reputation. Our model deviates from traditional modelling approaches in the indirect reciprocity literature in a crucial way—we show that first-order information is sufficient to maintain cooperation if players are given an option to signal their intention. Importantly, our model is robust against invasion by both unconditionally cooperative and uncooperative strategies, a first step towards demonstrating its viability as an evolutionarily stable strategy. Furthermore, in two behavioural experiments, when participants were given the option to abandon a resource so as to mend a tarnished reputation, participants not only spontaneously began to use this option, they also interpreted others' use of this option as a signal of cooperative intent.

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