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REPEATED INTERACTIONS the 30-second theory A repeated game, or iterated game, is a 3-SECOND TRASH As Darwinians, we start pessimistically by assuming deep selfishness. And yet from such warped beginnings, something can come that is close to amicable brotherhood and sisterhood. (Dawkins, in Axelrod, 2007).

3-MINUTE THOUGHT When lending through Kiva.org there is no direct communication with the third world entrepreneur that receives the loan nor are there any implications that there ever will be. Succes stories of Kiva.org do mention entrepreneurs that build up their business in a third world country by succesively taking loans. Their success might be related to the theoretical possibilites that repeated interactions offer.

Format: Parsons P., Rees, M. & Blackmore, S. (2010). 30-second Theories. London, UK: Icon Books Ltd.

game in which the players might meet again after the base game is played one or more times. This is an important basis on which cooperation can emerge because “the future can RELATED THEORIES cast a shadow back upon the present and thereby affect the see also current strategic situation” (Axelrod, 1984). The most clear- STRONG RECIPROCITY cut form of this situation is the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. (forthcoming) “This game allows the players to achieve mutual gains from cooperation, but it also allows for the possibility that one REFERENCES player will exploit the other, or the possibility that neither will Axelrod, R. M. (2007). The cooperate. As in most realistic situations, the players do not Evolution of Cooperation. New York, NY: Basic Books. have strictly opposing interests.” Axelrod found out that the best strategy to play in this game by, is the so called TIT-FORTAT strategy in which the player starts with an unconditional act of cooperation and after that reciprocates the response.

“When should a person cooperate, and when should a person be selfish, in an ongoing interaction with another person?” (Axelrod, 1984) Pim Schaaf - 351346ps


COSTLY SIGNALING the 30-second theory Costly signaling is one of the theories 3-SECOND TRASH Theories of costly signaling attempt to account for a different, perhaps more fundamental question: Why do individuals indirectly reciprocate? What do people see in prosociality that prompts them to offer material rewards to “good citizens?”. (Willer, 2009)

3-MINUTE THOUGHT Providing benefits for third world entrepreneurs through Kiva.org is typically a dyadic interaction that does not provide pecuniary benefit for the lender. Costly signaling might provide an explanation for this behavior because it models the bigger (group) picture in which lenders might signal to peers through the loans they make and by doing so receive indirect reciprocal benefits.

that can explain rational cooperation in public goods games. The theory of costly signaling encompasses the idea that signaling can enable cooperative interaction. In RELATED THEORIES their game-theoretic model Gintis, Smith and Bowles (2001) see also incorporate the idea that “cooperative behavior indicates IMAGE SCORING (forthcoming) the underlying quality of the signaler, eliciting a response from observers that can be mutually beneficial”. They do REFERENCES this for group interaction (many-to-many) in which “no repeated or assortative interactions are involved”. They “show Gintis, H., Smith, E.A. & Bowles, S. (2001). Costly that honest signaling of underlying quality by providing a signaling and cooperation. public good to group members can be evolutionarily stable, J. theor. Biol. 213, 103-119. and can proliferate in a population in which it is initially rare, provided that certain plausible conditions hold, including Willer, R. (2009), A status theory of collective action, a link between group-beneficial signaling and underlying in Shane R. Thye, Edward qualities of the signaler that would be of benefit to a potential mate or alliance partner. The model applies to a range of J. Lawler (ed.) Altruism and Prosocial Behavior in cooperative interactions, including unconditionally sharing Groups (Advances in Group individually consumable resources.” Processes, Volume 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.133-163.

“Cooperation among unrelated individuals has generally been explained by some form of conditional reciprocity.” (Gintis et al. 2001) Format: Parsons P., Rees, M. & Blackmore, S. (2010). 30-second Theories. London, UK: Icon Books Ltd.

Pim Schaaf - 351346ps


30 seconds theoretical framework