Different perceptions of social dilemmas: Evolutionary multigames in structured populations

Zhen Wang, Attila Szolnoki, Matjaž Perc

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Motivated by the fact that the same social dilemma can be perceived differently by different players, we here study evolutionary multigames in structured populations. While the core game is the weak prisoner's dilemma, a fraction of the population adopts either a positive or a negative value of the sucker's payoff, thus playing either the traditional prisoner's dilemma or the snowdrift game. We show that the higher the fraction of the population adopting a different payoff matrix the more the evolution of cooperation is promoted. The microscopic mechanism responsible for this outcome is unique to structured populations, and it is due to the payoff heterogeneity, which spontaneously introduces strong cooperative leaders that give rise to an asymmetric strategy imitation flow in favor of cooperation. We demonstrate that the reported evolutionary outcomes are robust against variations of the interaction network, and they also remain valid if players are allowed to vary which game they play over time. These results corroborate existing evidence in favor of heterogeneity-enhanced network reciprocity, and they reveal how different perceptions of social dilemmas may contribute to their resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032813
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 23 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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