Individual perception dynamics in drunk games Articles uri icon


publication date

  • May 2019

start page

  • 052311-2

end page

  • 052311-12


  • 5


  • 99

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2470-0045

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2470-0053


  • We study the effects of individual perceptions of payoffs in two-player games. In particular we consider the setting in which individuals' perceptions of the game are influenced by their previous experiences and outcomes. Accordingly, we introduce a framework based on evolutionary games where individuals have the capacity to perceive their interactions in different ways. Starting from the narrative of social behaviors in a pub as an illustration, we first study the combination of the Prisoner's Dilemma and Harmony Game as two alternative perceptions of the same situation. Considering a selection of game pairs, our results show that the interplay between perception dynamics and game payoffs gives rise to nonlinear phenomena unexpected in each of the games separately, such as catastrophic phase transitions in the cooperation basin of attraction, Hopf bifurcations and cycles of cooperation and defection. Combining analytical techniques with multiagent simulations, we also show how introducing individual perceptions can cause nontrivial dynamical behaviors to emerge, which cannot be obtained by analyzing the system at a macroscopic level. Specifically, initial perception heterogeneities at the microscopic level can yield a polarization effect that is unpredictable at the macroscopic level. This framework opens the door to the exploration of new ways of understanding the link between the emergence of cooperation and individual preferences and perceptions, with potential applications beyond social interactions.


  • complex systems; evolutionary games