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On the role of hypocrisy in escaping the tragedy of the commons

Abstract : We study the emergence of cooperation in large spatial public goods games. Without employing severe social-pressure against “defectors”, or alternatively, significantly rewarding “cooperators”, theoretical models typically predict a system collapse in a way that is reminiscent of the “tragedy-of-the-commons” metaphor. Drawing on a dynamic network model, this paper demonstrates how cooperation can emerge when the social-pressure is mild. This is achieved with the aid of an additional behavior called “hypocrisy”, which appears to be cooperative from the external observer’s perspective but in fact hardly contributes to the social-welfare. Our model assumes that social-pressure is induced over both defectors and hypocritical players, though the extent of which may differ. Our main result indicates that the emergence of cooperation highly depends on the extent of social-pressure applied against hypocritical players. Setting it to be at some intermediate range below the one employed against defectors allows a system composed almost exclusively of defectors to transform into a fully cooperative one quickly. Conversely, when the social-pressure against hypocritical players is either too low or too high, the system remains locked in a degenerate configuration.
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Contributor : Amos Korman Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Sunday, October 10, 2021 - 1:01:20 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 6, 2022 - 1:27:22 PM


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Amos Korman, Robin Vacus. On the role of hypocrisy in escaping the tragedy of the commons. Scientific Reports, 2021, 11 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-97001-3⟩. ⟨hal-03371953⟩



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