Reputation and the evolution off cooperation in sizable groups

Shinsuke Suzuki, Eizo Akiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution of cooperation in social dilemmas has been of considerable concern in various fields such as sociobiology, economics and sociology. It might be that, in the real world, reputation plays an important role in the evolution of cooperation. Recently, studies that have addressed indirect reciprocity have revealed that cooperation can evolve through reputation, even though pairs of individuals interact only a few times. To our knowledge, most indirect reciprocity models have presumed dyadic interaction; no studies have attempted analysis of the evolution of cooperation in large communities where the effect of reputation is included. We investigate the evolution of cooperation in sizable groups in which the reputation of individuals affects the decision-making process. This paper presents the following: (i) cooperation can evolve in a four-person case, (H) the evolution of cooperation becomes difficult as group size increases, even if the effect of reputation is included, and (iii) three kinds of final social states exist. In medium-sized communities, cooperative species can coexist in a stable manner with betrayal species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1373-1377
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1570
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul 7
Externally publishedYes


  • Evolution of cooperation
  • Indirect reciprocity
  • Prisoner's dilemma game
  • Reputation
  • Social dilemma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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