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Cooperation creates selection for tactical deception.

McNally L, Jackson AL - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2013)

Bottom Line: This effect is driven by deception weakening cheater detection in conditional cooperators, allowing tactical deceivers to elicit cooperation at lower costs, while simple cheats are recognized and discriminated against.Our results suggest that the evolution of conditional strategies may, in addition to promoting cooperation, select for astute cheating and associated psychological abilities.Ultimately, our ability to convincingly lie to each other may have evolved as a direct result of our cooperative nature.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. luke.mcnally@ed.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Conditional social behaviours such as partner choice and reciprocity are held to be key mechanisms facilitating the evolution of cooperation, particularly in humans. Although how these mechanisms select for cooperation has been explored extensively, their potential to select simultaneously for complex cheating strategies has been largely overlooked. Tactical deception, the misrepresentation of the state of the world to another individual, may allow cheaters to exploit conditional cooperation by tactically misrepresenting their past actions and/or current intentions. Here we first use a simple game-theoretic model to show that the evolution of cooperation can create selection pressures favouring the evolution of tactical deception. This effect is driven by deception weakening cheater detection in conditional cooperators, allowing tactical deceivers to elicit cooperation at lower costs, while simple cheats are recognized and discriminated against. We then provide support for our theoretical predictions using a comparative analysis of deception across primate species. Our results suggest that the evolution of conditional strategies may, in addition to promoting cooperation, select for astute cheating and associated psychological abilities. Ultimately, our ability to convincingly lie to each other may have evolved as a direct result of our cooperative nature.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Equilibrium mixture of CCs and TDs. The coloured contour plot shows the frequency of CCs xCC* at the mixed equilibrium (frequency of TDs is 1 – xCC*) as a function of the benefit of cooperation b and the cost of deception d for the model with negative frequency dependence (see figure 1c). Darker (lighter) greys indicate a higher frequency of CCs (TDs) at the equilibrium. White areas indicate parameter values where there is no stable mixed equilibrium and the population converges on honest defection. Parameter values are c = 0.5, q = 1 – xTD for all plots and (a) s = 0.1, (b) s = 0.2 and (c) s = 0.3.
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RSPB20130699F2: Equilibrium mixture of CCs and TDs. The coloured contour plot shows the frequency of CCs xCC* at the mixed equilibrium (frequency of TDs is 1 – xCC*) as a function of the benefit of cooperation b and the cost of deception d for the model with negative frequency dependence (see figure 1c). Darker (lighter) greys indicate a higher frequency of CCs (TDs) at the equilibrium. White areas indicate parameter values where there is no stable mixed equilibrium and the population converges on honest defection. Parameter values are c = 0.5, q = 1 – xTD for all plots and (a) s = 0.1, (b) s = 0.2 and (c) s = 0.3.

Mentions: In both of the cases above, TDs will only appear transiently before disappearing from the population, so how can TDs persist in the population? One possible factor leading to the coexistence of TDs and CCs is frequency dependence in the efficiency of deception. It would be expected that, as TDs become more common in the population, CCs would become more adept at spotting deception, such as via associative learning. The necessary negative frequency dependence for a mixed equilibrium may exist if the efficiency of deception q declines with increasing frequencies of TDs. Here we will consider the simplest scenario where q = 1 – xTD, so that deception is seldom detected when very rare, but is almost always detected when deception is the norm. In this scenario, a rare TD can always invade a monomorphic population of CCs as they will have payoffs πTD = b – d and πCC = b – c, and we have assumed that the cost of deception is less than that of cooperation (d < c). Additionally, a rare CC will be able to invade a population of TDs when –cs < –d. This negative frequency dependence can lead to a stable mixed equilibrium of xCC* CCs and 1 – xCC* TDs (figure 1c), which can resist invasion by HDs if b(1 – s)(xCC*)2 > d. The full expressions for the location and stability of this equilibrium are too unwieldy to yield analytical insight, but are numerically explored in figure 2. Extensive numerical exploration showed no other stable mixed equilibria. Increasing cost-to-benefit ratio (c/b) and decreasing costs of deception (d) increase the equilibrium frequency of TDs as their relative advantage over CCs is increased. However, TDs may become victims of their own success; if their equilibrium frequency becomes too high this equilibrium becomes invadable by HDs (i.e. b(1 – s)(xCC*)2 < d). Increasing the proportion of rounds CCs fail to defect against identified defectors (s) reduces the parameter space in which the mixed equilibrium is stable as the amount of cooperation TDs receive from CCs relative to that received by HDs is reduced (i.e. there is less benefit to outweigh the cost of tactical deception as conditional cooperation becomes less efficient).Figure 2.


Cooperation creates selection for tactical deception.

McNally L, Jackson AL - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2013)

Equilibrium mixture of CCs and TDs. The coloured contour plot shows the frequency of CCs xCC* at the mixed equilibrium (frequency of TDs is 1 – xCC*) as a function of the benefit of cooperation b and the cost of deception d for the model with negative frequency dependence (see figure 1c). Darker (lighter) greys indicate a higher frequency of CCs (TDs) at the equilibrium. White areas indicate parameter values where there is no stable mixed equilibrium and the population converges on honest defection. Parameter values are c = 0.5, q = 1 – xTD for all plots and (a) s = 0.1, (b) s = 0.2 and (c) s = 0.3.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3673056&req=5

RSPB20130699F2: Equilibrium mixture of CCs and TDs. The coloured contour plot shows the frequency of CCs xCC* at the mixed equilibrium (frequency of TDs is 1 – xCC*) as a function of the benefit of cooperation b and the cost of deception d for the model with negative frequency dependence (see figure 1c). Darker (lighter) greys indicate a higher frequency of CCs (TDs) at the equilibrium. White areas indicate parameter values where there is no stable mixed equilibrium and the population converges on honest defection. Parameter values are c = 0.5, q = 1 – xTD for all plots and (a) s = 0.1, (b) s = 0.2 and (c) s = 0.3.
Mentions: In both of the cases above, TDs will only appear transiently before disappearing from the population, so how can TDs persist in the population? One possible factor leading to the coexistence of TDs and CCs is frequency dependence in the efficiency of deception. It would be expected that, as TDs become more common in the population, CCs would become more adept at spotting deception, such as via associative learning. The necessary negative frequency dependence for a mixed equilibrium may exist if the efficiency of deception q declines with increasing frequencies of TDs. Here we will consider the simplest scenario where q = 1 – xTD, so that deception is seldom detected when very rare, but is almost always detected when deception is the norm. In this scenario, a rare TD can always invade a monomorphic population of CCs as they will have payoffs πTD = b – d and πCC = b – c, and we have assumed that the cost of deception is less than that of cooperation (d < c). Additionally, a rare CC will be able to invade a population of TDs when –cs < –d. This negative frequency dependence can lead to a stable mixed equilibrium of xCC* CCs and 1 – xCC* TDs (figure 1c), which can resist invasion by HDs if b(1 – s)(xCC*)2 > d. The full expressions for the location and stability of this equilibrium are too unwieldy to yield analytical insight, but are numerically explored in figure 2. Extensive numerical exploration showed no other stable mixed equilibria. Increasing cost-to-benefit ratio (c/b) and decreasing costs of deception (d) increase the equilibrium frequency of TDs as their relative advantage over CCs is increased. However, TDs may become victims of their own success; if their equilibrium frequency becomes too high this equilibrium becomes invadable by HDs (i.e. b(1 – s)(xCC*)2 < d). Increasing the proportion of rounds CCs fail to defect against identified defectors (s) reduces the parameter space in which the mixed equilibrium is stable as the amount of cooperation TDs receive from CCs relative to that received by HDs is reduced (i.e. there is less benefit to outweigh the cost of tactical deception as conditional cooperation becomes less efficient).Figure 2.

Bottom Line: This effect is driven by deception weakening cheater detection in conditional cooperators, allowing tactical deceivers to elicit cooperation at lower costs, while simple cheats are recognized and discriminated against.Our results suggest that the evolution of conditional strategies may, in addition to promoting cooperation, select for astute cheating and associated psychological abilities.Ultimately, our ability to convincingly lie to each other may have evolved as a direct result of our cooperative nature.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. luke.mcnally@ed.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Conditional social behaviours such as partner choice and reciprocity are held to be key mechanisms facilitating the evolution of cooperation, particularly in humans. Although how these mechanisms select for cooperation has been explored extensively, their potential to select simultaneously for complex cheating strategies has been largely overlooked. Tactical deception, the misrepresentation of the state of the world to another individual, may allow cheaters to exploit conditional cooperation by tactically misrepresenting their past actions and/or current intentions. Here we first use a simple game-theoretic model to show that the evolution of cooperation can create selection pressures favouring the evolution of tactical deception. This effect is driven by deception weakening cheater detection in conditional cooperators, allowing tactical deceivers to elicit cooperation at lower costs, while simple cheats are recognized and discriminated against. We then provide support for our theoretical predictions using a comparative analysis of deception across primate species. Our results suggest that the evolution of conditional strategies may, in addition to promoting cooperation, select for astute cheating and associated psychological abilities. Ultimately, our ability to convincingly lie to each other may have evolved as a direct result of our cooperative nature.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus