Crosstalk in concurrent repeated games impedes direct reciprocity and requires stronger levels of forgiveness Journal Article

Author(s): Reiter, Johannes G; Hilbe, Christian; Rand, David G; Chatterjee, Krishnendu; Nowak, Martin A
Article Title: Crosstalk in concurrent repeated games impedes direct reciprocity and requires stronger levels of forgiveness
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Direct reciprocity is a mechanism for cooperation among humans. Many of our daily interactions are repeated. We interact repeatedly with our family, friends, colleagues, members of the local and even global community. In the theory of repeated games, it is a tacit assumption that the various games that a person plays simultaneously have no effect on each other. Here we introduce a general framework that allows us to analyze “crosstalk” between a player’s concurrent games. In the presence of crosstalk, the action a person experiences in one game can alter the person’s decision in another. We find that crosstalk impedes the maintenance of cooperation and requires stronger levels of forgiveness. The magnitude of the effect depends on the population structure. In more densely connected social groups, crosstalk has a stronger effect. A harsh retaliator, such as Tit-for-Tat, is unable to counteract crosstalk. The crosstalk framework provides a unified interpretation of direct and upstream reciprocity in the context of repeated games.
Keywords: social evolution; Applied mathematics; cooperation; human behaviour
Journal Title: Nature Communications
Volume: 9
Issue 1
ISSN: 2041-1723
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group  
Date Published: 2018-02-07
Start Page: Article number: 555
Copyright Statement: CC BY
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02721-8
Notes: This work was supported by the European Research Council (ERC) start grant 279307: Graph Games (C.K.), Austrian Science Fund (FWF) grant no P23499-N23 (C.K.), FWF NFN grant no S11407-N23 RiSE/SHiNE (C.K.), Office of Naval Research grant N00014-16-1-2914 (M.A.N.), National Cancer Institute grant CA179991 (M.A.N.) and by the John Templeton Foundation. J.G.R. is supported by an Erwin Schrödinger fellowship (Austrian Science Fund FWF J-3996). C.H. acknowledges generous support from the ISTFELLOW program. The Program for Evolutionary Dynamics is supported in part by a gift from B Wu and Eric Larson.
Open access: yes (OA journal)