On the Effectiveness of In-Group Behavior in the Spatially Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma

S.P. Strenn (USA)


Spatially iterated prisoner's dilemma, in-group behavior.


"Me against my brother; me and my brother against our cousins; we and our cousins against the invader." It is an oft-quoted proverb that sounds rather backward and provincial these days, but the sentiment it conveys is deeply rooted in human societies. This paper examines the effectiveness of such in-group behavior within the context of a spatially iterated prisoner's dilemma model that allows limited communication between agents. Conditions that promote and retard in-group behavior are identified, and supporting experimental results are presented. The dynamics of agent interactions, both within and at the boundary of stable groups, are investigated.

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