Recently many studies have investigated the evolution of indirect reciprocity through which cooperative action is returned by a third individual, e.g. individual A helped B and then receives help from C. Most studies on indirect reciprocity have presumed that only two individuals take part in a single interaction (group), e.g. A helps B and C helps A. In this paper, we investigate the evolution of indirect reciprocity when more than two individuals take part in a single group, and compare the result with direct reciprocity through which cooperative action is directly returned by the recipient. Our analyses show the following. In the population with discriminating cooperators and unconditional defectors, whether implementation error is included or not, (i) both strategies are evolutionarily stable and the evolution of indirect reciprocity becomes more difficult as group size increases, and (ii) the condition for the evolution of indirect reciprocity under standing reputation criterion where the third individuals distinguish between justified and unjustified defections is more relaxed than that under image scoring reputation criterion in which the third individuals do not distinguish with. Furthermore, in the population that also includes unconditional cooperators, (iii) in the presence of errors in implementation, the discriminating strategy is evolutionarily stable not only under standing but also under image scoring if group size is larger than two. Finally, (iv) in the absence of errors in implementation, the condition for the evolution of direct reciprocity is equivalent to that for the evolution of indirect reciprocity under standing, and, in the presence of errors, the condition for the evolution of direct reciprocity is very close to that for the evolution of indirect reciprocity under image scoring.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistics and Probability
- Modelling and Simulation
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Applied Mathematics