- Scientific Reports Journal
- November 2016
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
- Cooperation can be supported by indirect reciprocity via reputation. Thanks to gossip, reputations are built and circulated and humans can identify defectors and ostracise them. However, the evolutionary stability of gossip is allegedly undermined by the fact that it is more error-prone that direct observation, whereas ostracism could be ineffective if the partner selection mechanism is not robust. The aim of this work is to investigate the conditions under which the combination of gossip and ostracism might support cooperation in groups of different sizes. We are also interested in exploring the extent to which errors in transmission might undermine the reliability of gossip as a mechanism for identifying defectors. Our results show that a large quantity of gossip is necessary to support cooperation, and that group structure can mitigate the effects of errors in transmission.