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Ethical Strategies Within the Group

If all Agents within a group follow the same ethical strategy (at least a rational strategy), the group will attain benefits, which are described below.  The only flaw in the Same Strategy structure is that a uniform, beneficial, ethical strategy provides a strong temptation to defection, where an individual will take advantage of, or betray, others within the group.

In a Many Strategies group, the ranking of Basic Strategies for Self-Gain and Other-Gain are reversed.  A Basic Strategy that is effective in generating Self-Gain will tend to generate Other-Loss.  A Basic Strategy that is effective in generating Other-Gain will tend to generate Self-Loss.  This is a consequence of the Challenging (competitive) scenarios which are being used in these simulations.  In a Same Strategy group, however, Basic Strategies effective in generating Self-Gain will also be effective in generating Other-Gain.  If both Agents are pursing the same effective gain strategy, they will both make gains.  If they pursue relatively ineffective gain strategies, then they make little joint gain, or even suffer losses.  This reversal of ranking occurs even in the absence of Good Will.

The one exception to this is the Basic Strategy Best Cell.  It does not generate Self-Gain very well when used in a Many Strategies scenario.  However, Best Cell does very well if all Agents within the group are using it.  Best Cell is an optimistic, somewhat naïve, strategy.  It simply chooses what it expects to be the best possible outcome, without regard to Other Agent’s choices.  This works well in non-competitive (Comfortable) scenarios, but not in these competitive encounters.  However, when all Agents use this Basic Strategy, Best Cell does not suffer from competition.

In a Many Strategies scenario, the primary determinant of Self-Gain is Basic Strategy.  The most effective Basic Strategies will generate the most Self-Gain.  Good Will will actually decrease Self-Gain, at least in competitive scenarios.  In contrast, for Same Strategy scenarios, the primary determinant of Self-Gain is the presence of Good Will.  Where all Agents show generosity toward each other, the entire group benefits, and this is reflected in the Total Adjusted Self-Gain.

It is in the Same Strategy scenarios that Good Will is able to generate increased Total Ethics.  With Good Will, all metrics (except Equality) increase – Individual, Adjusted, & Total Adjusted Self-Gain; Other-Gain; and Commonwealth.  Where all Agents show Good Will toward each other, all thrive.

Conversely, it is in the Same Strategy scenarios that Bad Will differentiates itself from Neutral Will.  In all other scenarios, Bad Will and Neutral Will had nearly identical effects, at least in these competitive encounters.  But where all Agents practice hostility toward each other, all suffer.  All ethical indices, except Equality, show a significant decrease where all group members practice Bad Will.

In Same Strategy groups that use both effective Self-Gain Basic Strategies and Good Will, the beneficial effects are even further amplified.  Self-Gain, Other-Gain, and Commonwealth are all enhanced.  But their effects are amplified on several fronts.  In Same Strategy groups, Basic Strategies effective in Self-Gain are also effective in Other-Gain, even under competition.   Good Will alone will increase Self-Gain, as long as all members of the group practice it.  Together, an ethical strategy that combines an effective Basic Strategy with Good Will increases nearly all indices of Total Ethics beyond the sum of the individual components.

In Same Strategy groups, the presence of Good Will greatly amplifies the effectiveness of Self-Gain for the Basic Strategies Best Cell and Best Row.  These are the two most optimistic, least defensive basic Strategies, and they thrive in the presence of Good Will among group members.