Group Reputation Supports Beneficent Norms:
a case of “them” and “us”
CPM Report No.: 02-101
By: David Hales
Date: 5th July 2002.
This paper demonstrates the role of group normative reputation in the
promotion of an aggression reducing possession norm in an artificial
society. A previous model of normative reputation is extended such that
agents are given the cognitive capacity to categorise other agents as
members of a group. In the previous model reputational information was
communicated between agents concerning individuals. In the model
presented here reputations are projected onto whole groups of agents (a
form of “stereotyping”). By stereotyping, norm followers outperform
cheaters (who do not follow the norm) under certain conditions.
Stereotyping, by increasing the domain of applicability of a piece of
reputational information, allows agents to make informed decisions
concerning interactions with agents which no other agent has previously
met. However, if conditions are not conducive, stereotyping can
completely negate norm following behaviour. Group reputation can be a
powerful mechanism, therefore, for the promotion of beneficent norms
under the right conditions.