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Cultural coevolution of norm adoption and enforcement when punishers are rewarded or non-punishers are punished.

Kendal, J. and Feldman, M. W. and Aoki, K. (2006) 'Cultural coevolution of norm adoption and enforcement when punishers are rewarded or non-punishers are punished.', Theoretical population biology., 70 (1). pp. 10-25.


A number of studies have shown that social norms can be maintained at a high frequency when norm-violators are punished. However, there remains the problem of how norm-adopters and punishers coevolve within a single group. We develop a recursive system to examine the coevolution of norm-adopters and punishers where the viability of punishers is enhanced by one of two “metanorms”: (1) Norm-observers reward punishers for punishing norm-violators (Reward Model); (2) Punishers punish non-punishers (Punishment Model). Both models generate a bistable system and each is characterized in phenotype frequency space by a distinct region of attraction to the equilibrium consisting of only norm-adopting punishers. Using a Monte Carlo simulation, we find that cultural drift may allow norm-adopters and punishers to coevolve from invasion into this region of attraction, resulting in their fixation. This coevolution typically occurs across a wider range of conditions under the reward- than the punishment-based metanorm. We also show that, under appropriate conditions, a large negative statistical association between the two traits may evolve only under the Reward Model. Furthermore, for each metanorm, a population of norm-adopters who always observe the norm can be locally stable over a continuum of punishment frequencies.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Cultural drift, Cultural evolution, Metanorm, Norm adoption, Punishment.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:August 2006
Date first made open access:No date available

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