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          Institute: MPI für Evolutionsbiologie     Collection: Research Group Evolutionary Theory     Display Documents



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ID: 610634.0, MPI für Evolutionsbiologie / Research Group Evolutionary Theory
Emergence of responsible sanctions without second order free riders, antisocial punishment or spite
Authors:Hilbe, Christian; Traulsen, Arne
Language:English
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2012-06-13
Title of Journal:Scientific Reports
Volume:2
Issue / Number:458
Start Page:4 S.
Review Status:not specified
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:While empirical evidence highlights the importance of punishment for cooperation in collective action, it
remains disputed how responsible sanctions targeted predominantly at uncooperative subjects can evolve.
Punishment is costly; in order to spread it typically requires local interactions, voluntary participation, or
rewards. Moreover, theory and experiments indicate that some subjects abuse sanctioning opportunities by
engaging in antisocial punishment (which harms cooperators), spiteful acts (harming everyone) or revenge
(as a response to being punished). These arguments have led to the conclusion that punishment is
maladaptive. Here, we use evolutionary game theory to show that this conclusion is premature: If
interactions are non-anonymous, cooperation and punishment evolve even if initially rare, and sanctions
are directed towards non-cooperators only. Thus, our willingness to punish free riders is ultimately a selfish
decision rather than an altruistic act; punishment serves as a warning, showing that one is not willing to
accept unfair treatments.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Brigitte Lechner
Affiliations:MPI für Evolutionsbiologie
Identifiers:ISSN:2045-2322 (online) [ID-No:1]
DOI:10.1038/srep00458 [ID-No:2]
LOCALID:2932/S 39277 [ID-No:3]
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