Indirect Reciprocity

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Aug 20, 2013 10:57
Today I'm going to talk about my field of research. This is not for my presentation. I just wanted to let you know about my studies. I cited from here: Nowak, M.A. and Sigmund, K. (2005) Evolution of indirect reciprocity. Nature 437, 1291-1298


Why do people help others? They help others with but sometimes without apparent reasons. I'll explain two patterns of human cooperation: direct reciprocity and indirect reciprocity.

It is very easy to understand the mechanism of direct reciprocity. Look at the figure (a), please. Once A helps B, B feel like cooperate A. After that, they can forge reciprocal relationship with each other.

Indirect reciprocity is more complex than direct reciprocity. It has two types: upstream and down stream. To be honest, I do not know why the bottom left one is called upstream and the bottom right one downstream.

Upstream indirect reciprocity has yet to be made clear. A helps B and then B wants to help whoever B can meet, so when she have chance to help C, she tries to cooperate C. This situation often happens in the real world, but researchers have not found good reason for this.

In terms of downstream indirect reciprocity, A helps B and then C supports A. This is explained by using reputation. By helping B, A can get higher reputation. Therefore, other people feel like helping A and expect A to help them in the future.

These are fundamental information on my studies. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me, please.