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The evolution of judgement bias in indirect reciprocity

By Daniel J. Rankin and Franziska Eggimann


Indirect reciprocity is a form of reciprocity where help is given to individuals based on their reputation. In indirect reciprocity, bad acts (such as not helping) reduce an individual's reputation while good acts (such as helping) increase an individual's reputation. Studies of indirect reciprocity assume that good acts and bad acts are weighted equally when assessing the reputation of an individual. As different information can be processed in different ways, this is not likely to be the case, and it is possible that an individual could bias an actor's reputation by putting more weight to acts of defection (not helping) than acts of co-operation (helping) or vice versa. We term this difference ‘judgement bias’, and build an individual-based model of image scoring to investigate the conditions under which it may evolve. We find that, if the benefits of co-operation are small, judgement bias is weighted towards acts perceived to be bad; if the benefits are high, the reverse is true. Our result is consistent under both scoring and standing strategies, and we find that allowing judgement bias to evolve increases the level of co-operation in the population

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: The Royal Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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