Fear of Punishment Promotes the Emergence of Cooperation and Enhanced Social Welfare in Social Dilemmas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Social punishment has been suggested as a key approach to ensuring high levels of cooperation and norm compliance in one-shot
interactions. However, it has been shown that it only works when
punishment is highly cost-efficient. On the other hand, signalling
retribution hearkens back to medieval sovereignty, insofar as the
very word for gallows in French stems from the Latin word for
power and serves as a grim symbol of the ruthlessness of high
justice. Here we introduce the mechanism of signalling an act of
punishment and a special type of defector emerges, one who can
recognise this signal and avoid punishment by way of fear. We
perform extensive agent-based simulations so as to confirm and
expand our understanding of the external factors that influence the
success of social punishment. We show that our suggested mechanism serves as a catalyst for cooperation, even when signalling and
punishment are very costly. We observe the preventive nature of
advertising retributive acts and we contend that the resulting social
prosperity is a desirable outcome in the contexts of AI and multi-agent systems. Overall, we suggest that fear acts as an effective
stimulus to pro-social behaviour
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of AAMAS'20
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages1819-1821
ISBN (Electronic)9781450375184
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2020
Event19th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems - Online (underline.io), Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 9 May 202013 May 2020
https://aamas2020.conference.auckland.ac.nz/

Publication series

NameAAMAS Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2523-5699

Conference

Conference19th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Abbreviated titleAAMAS'20
CountryNew Zealand
CityAuckland
Period9/05/2013/05/20
Internet address

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