AAAI Publications, 2010 AAAI Fall Symposium Series

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Robustness of Ethnocentrism to Changes in Interpersonal Interactions
Artem Kaznatcheev

Last modified: 2010-11-03


We use the methods of evolutionary game theory and computational modelling to examine the evolution of ethnocentrism. We show that ethnocentrism evolves in a spatially structured population not only under prisoner's dilemma interactions, but also hawk-dove, assurance, harmony, and leader games. In the case of harmony, ethnocentrism evolves even when defection is irrational. This suggests that the pressure of competing for a common resource (in our model: free space) can produce irrational hostility between groups. The minimal cognitive assumptions in our model also suggest that the ethnocentrism observed in humans and elsewhere in nature has an evolutionary basis that is robust over changes in interaction types.


evolution; ethnocentrism; game theory

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