Forgetting constrains the emergence of cooperative decision strategies

Stevens, Jeffrey R. and Volstorf, Jenny and Schooler, Lael J. and Rieskamp, Jörg. (2011) Forgetting constrains the emergence of cooperative decision strategies. Frontiers in psychology, Vol. 1. p. 235.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5842656

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Theoretical studies of cooperative behavior have focused on decision strategies that depend on a partner’s last choices. The findings from this work assume that players accurately remember past actions. The kind of memory that these strategies employ, however, does not reflect what we know about memory. Here, we show that human memory may not meet the requirements needed to use these strategies. When asked to recall the previous behavior of simulated partners in a cooperative memory task, participants performed poorly, making errors in 10–24% of the trials. Participants made more errors when required to track more partners. We conducted agent-based simulations to evaluate how well cooperative strategies cope with error. These simulations suggest that, even with few errors, cooperation could not be maintained at the error rates demonstrated by our participants. Our results indicate that the strategies typically used in the study of cooperation likely do not reflect the underlying cognitive capacities used by humans and other animals in social interactions. By including unrealistic assumptions about cognition, theoretical models may have overestimated the robustness of the existing cooperative strategies. To remedy this, future models should incorporate what we know about cognition.
UniBasel Contributors:Rieskamp, Jörg
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 07:20
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 07:04

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