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Coevolution of deception and preferences: Darwin and Nash meet Machiavelli

Mohlin, Erik LU and Heller, Yuval (2019) In Games and Economic Behavior 113. p.223-247
Abstract
We develop a framework in which individuals' preferences coevolve with their abilities to deceive others about their preferences and intentions. Specifically, individuals are characterised by (i) a level of cognitive sophistication and (ii) a subjective utility function. Increased cognition is costly, but higher-level individuals have the advantage of being able to deceive lower-level opponents about their preferences and intentions in some of the matches. In the remaining matches, the individuals observe each other's preferences. Our main result shows that, essentially, only efficient outcomes can be stable. Moreover, under additional mild assumptions, we show that an efficient outcome is stable if and only if the gain from unilateral... (More)
We develop a framework in which individuals' preferences coevolve with their abilities to deceive others about their preferences and intentions. Specifically, individuals are characterised by (i) a level of cognitive sophistication and (ii) a subjective utility function. Increased cognition is costly, but higher-level individuals have the advantage of being able to deceive lower-level opponents about their preferences and intentions in some of the matches. In the remaining matches, the individuals observe each other's preferences. Our main result shows that, essentially, only efficient outcomes can be stable. Moreover, under additional mild assumptions, we show that an efficient outcome is stable if and only if the gain from unilateral deviation is smaller than the effective cost of deception in the environment. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Evolution of preferences, Indirect evolutionary approach, Theory of mind, Depth of reasoning, Deception, Efficiency
in
Games and Economic Behavior
volume
113
pages
223 - 247
publisher
0899-8256
external identifiers
  • scopus:85054441233
ISSN
0899-8256
DOI
10.1016/j.geb.2018.09.011
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d0c65ecf-60d2-419a-9238-6a1063508826
date added to LUP
2018-11-06 22:51:50
date last changed
2020-01-13 01:08:23
@article{d0c65ecf-60d2-419a-9238-6a1063508826,
  abstract     = {We develop a framework in which individuals' preferences coevolve with their abilities to deceive others about their preferences and intentions. Specifically, individuals are characterised by (i) a level of cognitive sophistication and (ii) a subjective utility function. Increased cognition is costly, but higher-level individuals have the advantage of being able to deceive lower-level opponents about their preferences and intentions in some of the matches. In the remaining matches, the individuals observe each other's preferences. Our main result shows that, essentially, only efficient outcomes can be stable. Moreover, under additional mild assumptions, we show that an efficient outcome is stable if and only if the gain from unilateral deviation is smaller than the effective cost of deception in the environment.},
  author       = {Mohlin, Erik and Heller, Yuval},
  issn         = {0899-8256},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {223--247},
  publisher    = {0899-8256},
  series       = {Games and Economic Behavior},
  title        = {Coevolution of deception and preferences: Darwin and Nash meet Machiavelli},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2018.09.011},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.geb.2018.09.011},
  volume       = {113},
  year         = {2019},
}