UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Power asymmetries and punishment in a prisoner's dilemma with variable cooperative investment

Bone, JE; Wallace, B; Bshary, R; Raihani, NJ; (2016) Power asymmetries and punishment in a prisoner's dilemma with variable cooperative investment. PLOS ONE , 11 (5) , Article e0155773. 10.1371/journal.pone.0155773. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
journal.pone.0155773.pdf - ["content_typename_Published version" not defined]

Download (686kB) | Preview

Abstract

In many two-player games, players that invest in punishment finish with lower payoffs than those who abstain from punishing. These results question the effectiveness of punishment at promoting cooperation, especially when retaliation is possible. It has been suggested that these findings may stem from the unrealistic assumption that all players are equal in terms of power. However, a previous empirical study which incorporated power asymmetries into an iterated prisoner's dilemma (IPD) game failed to show that power asymmetries stabilize cooperation when punishment is possible. Instead, players cooperated in response to their partner cooperating, and punishment did not yield any additional increase in tendency to cooperate. Nevertheless, this previous study only allowed an all-or-nothing–rather than a variable–cooperation investment. It is possible that power asymmetries increase the effectiveness of punishment from strong players only when players are able to vary their investment in cooperation. We tested this hypothesis using a modified IPD game which allowed players to vary their investment in cooperation in response to being punished. As in the previous study, punishment from strong players did not increase cooperation under any circumstances. Thus, in two-player games with symmetric strategy sets, punishment does not appear to increase cooperation.

Type: Article
Title: Power asymmetries and punishment in a prisoner's dilemma with variable cooperative investment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155773
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155773
Additional information: © 2016 Bone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1498447
Downloads since deposit
33Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item