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Title: Honesty and cooperation : emotions as cues and the evolution of the prisoner's dilemma
Author: Grose, Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3521 1535
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2007
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I argue that cooperative behaviour can evolve in a modified prisoner's dilemma (PD) that includes signalling. My broad project is one of explaining the emergence of cooperation at a societal level without Hobbesian enforcement. The strategy that I adopt is to use an evolutionary game theoretic approach to study the cultural evolution of a micro-level interaction, in this case the one-shot PD. I begin, in chapter two, by analysing Brian Skynns' model of the PD within which I find an important weakness. Any model that incorporates signalling into the PD requires an account of how the honesty of those signals is secured. Without such security, and Skynns does not address this, a deceptive strategy can invade and drive cooperation to extinction. In chapter three, therefore, I investigate mechanisms that prevent signals from being subverted, Chapter four goes on to examine empirical and theoretical literature on deception and its detection. I find that human deception detection ability is better than chance but not by an impressive margin. The study of deception detection is tightly linked to that of emotional responses. Hence I target such responses as potential signals in the PD. In chapter five I see what light recent results on the neurobiology of emotions can shed on our ability, or lack of, to produce deceptive emotional displays. I conclude that work by Joseph Ledoux and, in particular, Antonio Damasio provides an explanation of why displays are difficult to fake. I thus answer the concern 'that I initially raised about Skyrms' modified PD model. The fmal chapter buttresses my conclusion from chapter five. I demonstrate that, by considering the time of life at which common-interest and conflict-of-interest interactions occur, one can explain why the honesty of emotional displays has remained unsubverted by deceptive strategies in the long-run. Hence, I offer a response to Hobbesian scepticism about the possibility of honest cooperation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available