- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Background Cooperation is of utmost importance to society as a whole, but is often challenged by individual self-interests. While game theory has studied this problem extensively, there is little work on interactions within and across groups with different preferences or beliefs. Yet, people from different social or cultural backgrounds often meet and interact. This can yield conflict, since behavior that is considered cooperative by one population might be perceived as non-cooperative from the viewpoint of another. Methodology and Principal Findings To understand the dynamics and outcome of the competitive interactions within and between groups, we study game-dynamical replicator equations for multiple populations with incompatible interests and different power (be this due to different population sizes, material resources, social capital, or other factors). These equations allow us to address various important questions: For example, can cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma be promoted, when two interacting groups have different preferences? Under what conditions can costly punishment, or other mechanisms, foster the evolution of norms? When does cooperation fail, leading to antagonistic behavior, conflict, or even revolutions? And what incentives are needed to reach peaceful agreements between groups with conflicting interests? Conclusions and Significance Our detailed quantitative analysis reveals a large variety of interesting results, which are relevant for society, law and economics, and have implications for the evolution of language and culture as well. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS ONE
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Organisational unit03784 - Helbing, Dirk / Helbing, Dirk
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