Self-deception in an evolutionary game

Citation
Cc. Byrne et Ja. Kurland, Self-deception in an evolutionary game, J THEOR BIO, 212(4), 2001, pp. 457-480
Citations number
76
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Multidisciplinary
Journal title
JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-5193 → ACNP
Volume
212
Issue
4
Year of publication
2001
Pages
457 - 480
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-5193(20011021)212:4<457:SIAEG>2.0.ZU;2-X
Abstract
From the perspective of philosophy, the idea of humans lying to themselves seems irrational and maladaptive, if even possible. However, the paradigm o f cognitive modularity admits the possibility of self-deception. Trivers ar gues that self-deception can increase fitness by improving the effectivenes s of inter-personal deception. Ramachandran criticizes Trivers' conjecture, arguing that the costs of self-deception outweigh its benefits. We first m odify a well-known cognitive modularity model of Minsky to formalize a cogn itive model of self-deception. We then use Byrne's multi-dimensional dynami c character meta-model to integrate the cognitive model into an evolutionar y hawk-dove game in order to investigate Trivers' and Ramachandran's conjec tures. By mapping the influence of game circumstances into cognitive states , and mapping the influence of multiple cognitive modules into player decis ions, our cognitive definition of self-deception is extended to a behaviora l definition of self-deception. Our cognitive modules, referred to as the h unger and fear daemons, assess the benefits and the cost of competition and generate player beliefs. Daemon-assessment of encounter benefits and costs may lead to inter-daemonic conflict, that is, ambivalence, about whether o r not to fight. Player-types vary in the manner by which such inter-daemoni c conflict is resolved, and varieties of self-deception are modeled as type -specific conflict-resolution mechanisms. In the display phase of the game, players signal to one another and update their beliefs before finally comm itting to a decision (hawk or dove). Self-deception can affect player belie fs, and hence player actions, before or after signaling. In support of Triv ers' conjecture, the self-deceiving types do outperform the non-self-deceiv ing type. We analyse the sensitivity of this result to parameters of the co gnitive model, specifically the cognitive resolution of the players and the influence of player signals on co-player beliefs. (C) 2001 Academic Press.