The coevolution of altruism and punishment: Role of the selfish punisher

Mayuko Nakamaru, Yoh Iwasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Punishment is an important mechanism promoting the evolution of altruism among non-relatives. We investigate the coevolution of altruism and punitive behavior, considering four possible strategies: the altruist punisher (AP, a cooperator who punishes defectors), the altruist non-punisher (AN, a pure cooperator), the selfish punisher (SP, a defector who punishes defectors), and the selfish non-punisher (SN, a pure defector). The SP uses a paradoxical strategy as it punishes other defectors. We analyse the effects of SP and AN on the coevolution of altruism and punishment. We study both the score-dependent viability model (whereby the game's score affects survivorship only) and the score-dependent fertility model (whereby the score affects fertility only). In the viability model of a completely mixed population, SP first drives out SN, and hence it helps cooperators (AP and AN) to evolve. In contrast, in the fertility model of a completely mixed population, neither SP nor AN helps the evolution of cooperation. In both the viability and fertility models of a lattice-structured population, SP promotes the spread of AP. In contrast, AN discourages the evolution of AP. These results can be understood that punishment is a form of spite behavior, paying a cost to reduce the fitness of the opponents, and that different models give different magnitude of advantage to spite behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-488
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume240
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 7 2006

Fingerprint

Altruism
altruism
Punishment
Coevolution
coevolution
Fertility
Viability
viability
Population
Model
Evolution of Cooperation
Structured Populations
Survival Rate
Dependent
Costs and Cost Analysis
Fitness
survival rate
Game
Costs

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

Cite this

The coevolution of altruism and punishment : Role of the selfish punisher. / Nakamaru, Mayuko; Iwasa, Yoh.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 240, No. 3, 07.06.2006, p. 475-488.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nakamaru, Mayuko ; Iwasa, Yoh. / The coevolution of altruism and punishment : Role of the selfish punisher. In: Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2006 ; Vol. 240, No. 3. pp. 475-488.
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