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A model of human cooperation in social dilemmas.

Capraro V - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: The key innovation of this article is in fact to postulate that humans have attitude to cooperation by nature and consequently they do not act a priori as single agents, as assumed by standard economic models, but they forecast how a social dilemma would evolve if they formed coalitions and then they act according to their most optimistic forecast.Formalizing this idea we propose the first predictive model of human cooperation able to organize a number of different experimental findings that are not explained by the standard model.We show also that the model makes satisfactorily accurate quantitative predictions of population average behavior in one-shot social dilemmas.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom. V.Capraro@soton.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Social dilemmas are situations in which collective interests are at odds with private interests: pollution, depletion of natural resources, and intergroup conflicts, are at their core social dilemmas. Because of their multidisciplinarity and their importance, social dilemmas have been studied by economists, biologists, psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists. These studies typically explain tendency to cooperation by dividing people in proself and prosocial types, or appealing to forms of external control or, in iterated social dilemmas, to long-term strategies. But recent experiments have shown that cooperation is possible even in one-shot social dilemmas without forms of external control and the rate of cooperation typically depends on the payoffs. This makes impossible a predictive division between proself and prosocial people and proves that people have attitude to cooperation by nature. The key innovation of this article is in fact to postulate that humans have attitude to cooperation by nature and consequently they do not act a priori as single agents, as assumed by standard economic models, but they forecast how a social dilemma would evolve if they formed coalitions and then they act according to their most optimistic forecast. Formalizing this idea we propose the first predictive model of human cooperation able to organize a number of different experimental findings that are not explained by the standard model. We show also that the model makes satisfactorily accurate quantitative predictions of population average behavior in one-shot social dilemmas.

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The unit square represents the initial set of available profiles of strategies: player 1 can use all strategies , for all ; player 2 can use all strategies , for all .The red set represents the set of allowed profiles of strategies in the restricted game.
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pone-0072427-g001: The unit square represents the initial set of available profiles of strategies: player 1 can use all strategies , for all ; player 2 can use all strategies , for all .The red set represents the set of allowed profiles of strategies in the restricted game.

Mentions: From Fig. 1, it is clear that the cooperative equilibrium is in correspondence of the point in the red set that is closest to . This point can be computed directly by finding the smallest such thatthat is . Consequently, the cooperative equilibrium of this variant of the Prisoner’s dilemma is for both players. Notice that in [20] it has been reported that players cooperated with probability 58 per cent in one treatment and 65 per cent in another treatment and the over-cooperation in the second experiment was explained in terms of framing effect due to the different ways in which the same game was presented.


A model of human cooperation in social dilemmas.

Capraro V - PLoS ONE (2013)

The unit square represents the initial set of available profiles of strategies: player 1 can use all strategies , for all ; player 2 can use all strategies , for all .The red set represents the set of allowed profiles of strategies in the restricted game.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3756993&req=5

pone-0072427-g001: The unit square represents the initial set of available profiles of strategies: player 1 can use all strategies , for all ; player 2 can use all strategies , for all .The red set represents the set of allowed profiles of strategies in the restricted game.
Mentions: From Fig. 1, it is clear that the cooperative equilibrium is in correspondence of the point in the red set that is closest to . This point can be computed directly by finding the smallest such thatthat is . Consequently, the cooperative equilibrium of this variant of the Prisoner’s dilemma is for both players. Notice that in [20] it has been reported that players cooperated with probability 58 per cent in one treatment and 65 per cent in another treatment and the over-cooperation in the second experiment was explained in terms of framing effect due to the different ways in which the same game was presented.

Bottom Line: The key innovation of this article is in fact to postulate that humans have attitude to cooperation by nature and consequently they do not act a priori as single agents, as assumed by standard economic models, but they forecast how a social dilemma would evolve if they formed coalitions and then they act according to their most optimistic forecast.Formalizing this idea we propose the first predictive model of human cooperation able to organize a number of different experimental findings that are not explained by the standard model.We show also that the model makes satisfactorily accurate quantitative predictions of population average behavior in one-shot social dilemmas.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom. V.Capraro@soton.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Social dilemmas are situations in which collective interests are at odds with private interests: pollution, depletion of natural resources, and intergroup conflicts, are at their core social dilemmas. Because of their multidisciplinarity and their importance, social dilemmas have been studied by economists, biologists, psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists. These studies typically explain tendency to cooperation by dividing people in proself and prosocial types, or appealing to forms of external control or, in iterated social dilemmas, to long-term strategies. But recent experiments have shown that cooperation is possible even in one-shot social dilemmas without forms of external control and the rate of cooperation typically depends on the payoffs. This makes impossible a predictive division between proself and prosocial people and proves that people have attitude to cooperation by nature. The key innovation of this article is in fact to postulate that humans have attitude to cooperation by nature and consequently they do not act a priori as single agents, as assumed by standard economic models, but they forecast how a social dilemma would evolve if they formed coalitions and then they act according to their most optimistic forecast. Formalizing this idea we propose the first predictive model of human cooperation able to organize a number of different experimental findings that are not explained by the standard model. We show also that the model makes satisfactorily accurate quantitative predictions of population average behavior in one-shot social dilemmas.

Show MeSH