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The evolution of communication in social dilemma situations
Honest signalling in social dilemma situations
Communication in social dilemma situations
Communication and cooperation in social dilemma situation


The evolution and maintanance of cooperation is a hotspot in biology. Since cooperation entials a cost to cooperators therefor selfish individuals -who are willing to reap the benenfits of cooperation but refuse to play the cost- can exploit individuals with a cooperative dispostion. This could lead to the collapse of cooperation. One of the key issues is how to prevent this kind of exploitation. It is clear that communication and information either on the intentions or about the “reputation” of potential partners can play a cricial role in this porcess. This type of information can be either used in partner or behavioral strategy choice. In case partner choice individuals can decide (unilaterally or bilaterally) whom to interact with; in case of behavioral strategy choice individuals have an assigned partner(s) and the task of the individual is to decide between a number of alternatives -usually to cooperate or to not cooperate, but sometimnes with the option of punishement. Both partner and strategy choice is a decision situation where information about the partner can influence the decision in a crucial way. While both of these situations are extensively studied both in biology and in economics both by means of modelling and experiemnts, communication is very often assumed to be honest. This assumption while it seems to be a necessary simplification –as the majority of these studies focus on cooperation- may result in misleading conclusions. Communication need not be honest, not even on average () and the question of dishonesty is most prominent in situations with conflict of interest. Social dilamme situations are prime examples of these scenarios thus the issue of dishonesty applies with full force. In other words there is no a priori reason to assume that communication must be honest in such situations. This is important because without honesty cooperation could easily collpase in such situations (e.g.). Our goal is to investigate the evolution and the miantanence of honest signalling under such circumstances.
All in all, our focus is the evolution and maintanance of honest communication in social dilemma games,which in turns may allow cooperation to flourish in such scnearios. We plan to investigate to main scenarios: (i) partner choice and (ii) behavioral strategy choice:
  • Partner choice:
    • Partner choice in spatially explicit models of cooperation.
  • Behavioral strategy choice:
    • communication in threshold PGGs
    • public repuation in games of indirect reciprocity.

Experiment: The role of reputation in spatially explicit social dilemmas