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Group Membership - Some General Results

Some simulation results are either an extension of those derived from no-group scenarios, or were common to all group scenarios.  Rather than constantly repeat them, these results are consolidated to this one page.

The first of these results was that Total Adjusted Self-Gain, for all scenarios, was always positive (though close to zero).  This occurred despite the strong negative correlation between Self and Other payoffs.  As long as Agents made rational Self-Gain choices, they were able to eke out an average positive Adjusted Self-Gain.  An Agent using a random-choice strategy would suffer significant losses under this Challenging (Payoff Correlation = -0.50) set of scenarios.  This result mirrors that of the Challenging no-group scenarios.

The second result was that Reciprocity had little effect on any outcome, under any scenario.  This was a consequence of limiting group simulations to Challenging scenarios.  The competitive nature of the encounters made it difficult, though not impossible, for Self to cede gain to Other.  Because Other was unlikely to receive significant gain from Self, Other had no incentive to reciprocate (return Altruism for Self’s Altruism, or Antagonism for Self’s Antagonism).  As we saw in the Challenging and Zero-Sum scenarios, Reciprocity plays a minor role in any outcome.  Reciprocity plays a significant role only when it is easy for both Self and Other to gain within an encounter.  When mutual gain is difficult, Reciprocity plays a minor role in decision making.

Another result was the importance of unconditional Good Will or Bad Will.  In the Challenging and Zero-Sum no-group scenarios, unconditional Good Will toward Other was the most significant factor in Other-Gain.  Because I ran only Challenging group scenarios, Good Will was still an important factor in Other-Gain.  Good Will also consistently contributed toward Commonwealth, though to a lesser degree.

A closely-related result was the irrelevance of Bad Will.  Though I ran the scenarios with three levels of Good Will (Good, Neutral, and Bad), the results showed no difference between the Neutral and Bad Will predispositions.  With only one exception, there was no difference between Agents harboring  Neutral Will or Bad Will toward the Other Agent.  Good Will had many large and complex effects throughout the various scenarios, but Neutral Will and Bad Will were usually indistinguishable from each other.  So when I describe the effect of Good Will on other pages, I am actually describing the difference between Good vs. Neutral & Bad Will.  The similarity between Neutral Will and Bad Will was again a consequence of the Challenging scenarios.  In encounters where a gain for Self is likely to result in loss for Other, there is little distinction between Neutrality and Bad Will.  Both strategies produce the same result in a competitive environment.  Only the presence of unconditional Good Will was worthy of notice.

Note that the roles of Reciprocity and Good Will would have been reversed if I had run a series of Comfortable (payoff correlation = +0.50) scenarios.  Where it is easy for both Self and Other to jointly make gains, Reciprocity would gain importance as part of a self-sustaining positive feedback loop.  Conversely, Good Will would play only a minor role, because Self and Other could both easily make gains without making sacrifices.

One of the more striking results was the robust performance of the Basic Strategies.  Regardless of the group scenario, the Tax Rates, or the homogeneity of ethical strategies, the 6 Basic Strategies had nearly identical rankings in all metrics.  And these rankings were the same as in the no-group Challenging scenario.  Their relative efficacy in generating Adjusted Self-Gain, Personal Self-Gain, and Commonwealth remained constant.  In decreasing order:

The only strategy that showed some variation was Best Cell, which is described on another page.

The Basic Strategies also maintained the same ranking for Equality of outcome in all group scenarios.  From most Equal to least Equal they were: