This study investigates a possible nexus between inter-group competition and intra-group cooperation, which may be called “tribalism.” Building upon previous studies demonstrating a relationship between the environment and social relations, the present research incorporates a social-ecological model as a mediating factor connecting both individuals and communities to the environment. Cyclical and non-cyclical fluctuation in a simple, two-resource ecology drive agents to adopt either “go-it-alone” or group-based survival strategies via evolutionary selection. Novelly, this simulation employs a multilevel selection model allowing group-level dynamics to exert downward selective pressures on individuals’ propensity to cooperate within groups. Results suggest that cooperation and inter-group conflict are co-evolved in a triadic relationship with the environment. Resource scarcity increases inter-group competition, especially when resources are clustered as opposed to widely distributed. Moreover, the tactical advantage of cooperation in the securing of clustered resources enhanced selective pressure on cooperation, even if that implies increased individual mortality for the most altruistic warriors. Troubling, these results suggest that extreme weather, possibly as a result of climate change, could exacerbate conflict in sensitive, weather-dependent social-ecologies—especially places like the Horn of Africa where ecologically sensitive economic modalities overlap with high-levels of diversity and the wide-availability of small arms. As well, global development and foreign aid strategists should consider how plans may increase the value of particular locations where community resources are built or aid is distributed, potentially instigating tribal conflict. In sum, these factors, interacting with pre-existing social dynamics dynamics, may heighten inter-ethnic or tribal conflict in pluralistic but otherwise peaceful communities.
For special issue submission in JASSS.
Righi S., Takacs K., Social Closure and the Evolution of Cooperation via Indirect Reciprocity, Resubmitted after Revisions to Scientific Reports
A spatial prisoner’s dilemma model with mobile agents, de-coupled birth-death events, and harsh environments.
Captures interplay between fixed ethnic markers and culturally evolved tags in the evolution of cooperation and ethnocentrism. Agents evolve cultural tags, behavioural game strategies and in-group definitions. Ethnic markers are fixed.
Cultural group selection model used to evaluate the conditions for agents to evolve who have other-regarding preferences in making decisions in public good games.
This is an implementation of an agent based model for the evolution of ethnocentrism. While based off a model published by Hammond and Axelrod (2006), the code has been modified to allow for a more fine-grained analysis of evolutionary dynamics.
This model can be used to explore under which conditions agents behave as observed in field experiments on irrigation games.
The purpose of this model is to study the evolution of cooperation when agents are endowed with a limited set of receptors, a set of elementary actions and a neural network agents use to make decision
In the model agents make decisions to contribute of not to the public good of a group, and cooperators may punish, at a cost, defectors. The model is based on group selection, and is used to understan