Costly hide and seek pays: Unexpected consequences of deceit in a social dilemma

Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Deliberate deceptiveness intended to gain an advantage is commonplace in human and animal societies. In a social dilemma, an individual may only pretend to be a cooperator to elicit cooperation from others, while in reality he is a defector. With this as motivation, we study a simple variant of the evolutionary prisoners dilemma game entailing deceitful defectors and conditional cooperators that lifts the veil on the impact of such two-faced behavior. Defectors are able to hide their true intentions at a personal cost, while conditional cooperators are probabilistically successful at identifying defectors and act accordingly. By focusing on the evolutionary outcomes in structured populations, we observe a number of unexpected and counterintuitive phenomena. We show that deceitful behavior may fare better if it is costly, and that a higher success rate of identifying defectors does not necessarily favor cooperative behavior. These results are rooted in the spontaneous emergence of cycling dominance and spatial patterns that give rise to fascinating phase transitions, which in turn reveal the hidden complexity behind the evolution of deception.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113003
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2014

Keywords

  • Cooperation
  • Phase transition
  • Prisoners dilemma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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