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Emotional Strategies as Catalysts for Cooperation in Signed Networks

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Document pages: 24 pages

Abstract: The evolution of unconditional cooperation is one of the fundamental problems in science. A new solution is proposed to solve this puzzle. We treat this issue with an evolutionary model in which agents play the Prisoner s Dilemma on signed networks. The topology is allowed to co-evolve with relational signs as well as with agent strategies. We introduce a strategy that is conditional on the emotional content embedded in network signs. We show that this strategy acts as a catalyst and creates favorable conditions for the spread of unconditional cooperation. In line with the literature, we found evidence that the evolution of cooperation most likely occurs in networks with relatively high chances of rewiring and with low likelihood of strategy adoption. While a low likelihood of rewiring enhances cooperation, a very high likelihood seems to limit its diffusion. Furthermore, unlike in non-signed networks, cooperation becomes more prevalent in denser topologies.

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