Barriers to Cooperation Aid Ideological Rigidity and Threaten Societal Collapse
Attitudes, beliefs, and resulting value systems may represent important motivational and decision-making factors that have strong impact on cooperation in a society. Accordingly, understanding the social function of value systems is a topic of great interest in evolutionary biology, but one where progress is made difficult by the sheer complexity of values-inspired behaviors. Here, we argue that considerable theoretical progress can be made within the indirect reciprocity framework. We show in the context of indirect reciprocity how to construct stylized values systems from a mathematically formalized notion of ideological rigidity. Our simulations indicate that politically imposed restrictions and protectionism favor the evolution of ideologically rigid value systems. The complete collapse of cooperation also arises as a possible evolutionary outcome.
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