Navigation Links
Rewards facilitate human cooperation under natural selection

Evolution of cooperation or how to suppress free riders

University of Vienna has an admirable tradition of investigating conditions promoting the evolution of cooperation. For last decades, research advances at University of Vienna have shed new light on various aspects for sustaining high levels of cooperation. As is well known, it has been an interdisciplinary issue to understand how cooperation can thrive under Darwinian natural selection. Usually, voluntary contribution is costly, and thus, those who free ride on others' contribution are often advantageous over those who contribute.

Social optimum or otherwise collective failure

In the paper, Tatsuya Sasaki and the coauthor Uchida Satoshi (RINRI Institute, Tokyo) investigate how voluntary reward funds can help coordinate cooperators in threshold public good games. In the game a certain amount of public goods is provided if the number of cooperators exceeds a critical point, or otherwise, contribution to the public-good provision ends up extinction. But when and how can high levels of cooperation evolve? The new research, in terms of evolutionary game theory, examines a bypassing policy to overcome the bad end through rewards for cooperative behaviors, such as subsidies and bonus programs. As these rewards are also costly, thus it is very important to investigate under which situations voluntary rewarding can emerge and help achieve a group goal. However, how can we prevent the reward system from being eroded by those who take a free ride on the voluntary fund raising ("second-order free riders")?

Through rise and fall of reward funds

"Finally, the voluntary reward fund falls," says Tatsuya Sasaki. "But ironically, the rewards, which are vanishing through invasion of the second-order free riders aforementioned, complete the evolution towards a stable society of certain cooperation." "Imagine a law for official subsidy which often includes its own expiration conditions. In our model, with achievement of a sufficient fraction of cooperators, the reward system is evolutionarily abolished." "Moreover, even under the strictest condition that the public-good provision requires unanimous agreement among all members, the reward fund considered can establish 100% cooperation."

Rewards and punishments are ones of the most commonly used tools to shape human behaviors. Previous studies in evolutionary game theory have mainly focused on punishment. Punishing is more costly for its initiator than rewarding. Thus the evolution of cooperation by punishment often needs support from other mechanisms. By contrast, the novel theoretical result is obtained by numerically examining a very simple model. Tatsuya Sasaki says: "It is crucial to understand how we can achieve cooperation without heavily relying on punishment, which can potentially lead to decreasing openness and escalating conflicts among groups. Therefore, investigating effects of rewards on transforming social norms would be fruitful for future research."


Contact: Dr. Tatsuya Sasaki
University of Vienna

Related biology news :

1. The Eco-Innovation initiative rewards ideas for innovative products that protect the environment
2. Mutual benefits: Stressed-out trees boost sugary rewards to ant defenders
3. Pavlovs rats? Rodents trained to link rewards to visual cues
4. Risks and rewards of quantifying natures ecosystem services
5. Aware Supplies Saudi Arabia with Biometrics Software to Help Facilitate Pilgrimage Travel
6. Spanish scientists identify a new ancestral enzyme that facilitates DNA repair
7. Bacteria responsible for gum disease facilitates rheumatoid arthritis
8. Researchers use blood testing to predict level of enzymes that facilitate disease progression
9. Scripps Research Institute scientists show copper facilitates prion disease
10. New research association started: Magnesium implants shall facilitate bone fracture healing
11. Humans in nature: The world as we find it and the world as we create it
Post Your Comments:
(Date:8/15/2017)...   ivWatch LLC , a medical device company focused on ... receipt of its ISO 13485 Certification, the global standard for medical ... Standardization (ISO®). ... Continuous Monitoring device for the early detection of IV infiltrations. ... "This is an important milestone for ivWatch, as ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... Va. , June 30, 2017 ... leading developer and supplier of face and eye ... ATA Featured Product provider program. ... an innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness ... greatly from being able to detect fatigue and ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... -- IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner ... developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built ... France is one of ... 30 percent increase in the number of startups created between ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ... digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the main causes of the evolving air ... living in larger cities are affected by air pollution related diseases. , That is ... globally - decided to take action. , “I knew I had to take action ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled ... bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new ... , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of ... Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was ... Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., ...
Breaking Biology Technology: