Emergence of Social Punishment and Cooperation through Prior Commitments

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    Social punishment, whereby cooperators punish defectors, has been suggested as an important mechanism that promotes the emergence of cooperation or main-tenance of social norms in the context of the one-shot (i.e. non-repeated) interaction. However, whenever an-tisocial punishment, whereby defectors punish cooper-ators, is available, this antisocial behavior outperforms social punishment, leading to the destruction of cooperation. In this paper, we use evolutionary game the-ory to show that this antisocial behavior can be efficiently restrained by relying on prior commitments, wherein agents can arrange, prior to an interaction, agreements regarding posterior compensation by those who dishonor the agreements. We show that, although the commitment mechanism by itself can guarantee a notable level of cooperation, a significantly higher level is achieved when both mechanisms, those of propos-ing prior commitments and of punishment, are available in co-presence. Interestingly, social punishment prevails and dominates in this system as it can take advantage of the commitment mechanism to cope with antisocial behaviors. That is, establishment of a commitment system helps to pave the way for the evolution of social punish-ment and abundant cooperation, even in the presence of antisocial punishment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2015
    Event30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence - Phoenix, United States
    Duration: 12 Feb 201617 Feb 2016


    Conference30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
    Abbreviated titleAAAI 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited States

    Bibliographical note

    AAAI authors are granted back the right to use their own papers for noncommercial uses. Advised by publisher 17/12/2015


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