New publication by The Anh Han and Tom Lenaerts in Nature's open access journal Scientific Reports
Conventional wisdom suggests that clear agreements need to be made prior to any collaborative effort in order to avoid potential frustrations for the participants during or at the end of a joint project. In a mathematical and numerical investigation The Anh Han and Tom Lenaerts (both from VUB and ULB) show, in collaboration with Luís Moniz Pereira and Francisco C. Santos from Portugal, that this behavior may actually have been shaped by natural selection. Moreover, their analysis shows that making prior agreements on the consequences of not honoring a deal provide a more effective road to cooperation than simply punishing bad behavior after the facts, even when there is a cost associated to setting up the agreements. This work was reported in Nature’s open access journal Scientific Reports.
Article can be obtained following this link; http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130918/srep02695/full/srep02695.html