Dirk Semmann

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The problem of sustaining a public resource that everybody is free to overuse-the 'tragedy of the commons'-emerges in many social dilemmas, such as our inability to sustain the global climate. Public goods experiments, which are used to study this type of problem, usually confirm that the collective benefit will not be produced. Because individuals and(More)
Evolutionary game dynamics describe not only frequency-dependent genetic evolution, but also cultural evolution in humans. In this context, successful strategies spread by imitation. It has been shown that the details of strategy update rules can have a crucial impact on evolutionary dynamics in theoretical models and, for example, can significantly alter(More)
Collective efforts are a trademark of both insect and human societies. They are achieved through relatedness in the former and unknown mechanisms in the latter. The problem of achieving cooperation among non-kin has been described as the 'tragedy of the commons', prophesying the inescapable collapse of many human enterprises. In public goods experiments,(More)
Theorists have only recently shown that cooperation through indirect reciprocity can evolve. The first modelling approach favoured a mechanism called image scoring. Helping someone increases one's image score, whereas refusing to help reduces it. The evolutionary outcome was a discriminator image scoring strategy that helps everybody who has, for example, a(More)
Communication about social topics is abundant in human societies, and many functions have been attributed to such gossiping. One of these proposed functions is the management of reputations. Reputation by itself has been shown to have a strong influence on cooperation dynamics in games of indirect reciprocity, and this notion helps to explain the observed(More)
The presence of costly cooperation between otherwise selfish actors is not trivial. A prominent mechanism that promotes cooperation is spatial population structure. However, recent experiments with human subjects report substantially lower level of cooperation then predicted by theoretical models. We analyze the data of such an experiment in which a total(More)
  • Dirk Semmann
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…
  • 2012
S ocial networks are ubiquitous in our internet-dominated culture, and the new virtual social networks have a lot in common with traditional social networks (e.g., friends and colleagues). In all cases, it is important who interacts with whom. Lately, there has been much theoretical and empirical work on how the behavior of individuals can be influenced by(More)
The ubiquity of cooperation in nature is puzzling because cooperators can be exploited by defectors. Recent theoretical work shows that if dynamic networks define interactions between individuals, cooperation is favoured by natural selection. To address this, we compare cooperative behaviour in multiple but independent repeated games between participants in(More)
We have carried out a comparative analysis of data collected in three experiments on Prisoner's Dilemmas on lattices available in the literature. We focus on the different ways in which the behavior of human subjects can be interpreted, in order to empirically narrow down the possibilities for behavioral rules. Among the proposed update dynamics, we find(More)
Information processing is a major aspect of the evolution of animal behavior. In foraging, responsiveness to local feeding opportunities can generate patterns of behavior which reflect or "recognize patterns" in the environment beyond the perception of individuals. Theory on the evolution of behavior generally neglects such opportunity-based adaptation.(More)