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Networks Working Group: Alex Harris (8th May)

When May 08, 2014
from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
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Speaker: Alex Harris

Title: Evolution of preference types when agents influence type revelation


In the indirect evolutionary framework, non-materialist preferences can evolve if players are able to observe each other's preference types, as this can allow non-materialists to coordinate on efficient outcomes that are not Nash equilibria in fitness. This paper studies the evolution of preferences for mutual cooperation when material payoffs form a Prisoner's Dilemma and every player can pay to "research" her opponent, i.e. to increase her chances of learning her opponent's type. Depending on parameter values, this capacity for research can either increase or decrease the numbers of people with non-materialist preferences compared to the baseline of no influence over type revelation. An extension to the model allows us to interpet researching an opponent's type in terms of screening by social distance: cooperation will tend to happen more often between those “closer together” socially.