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Social cohesion V.S. task cohesion: An evolutionary game theory study

by   Xinglong Qu, et al.

Using methods from evolutionary game theory, this paper investigates the difference between social cohesion and task cohesion in promoting the evolution of cooperation in group interactions. Players engage in public goods games and are allowed to leave their groups if too many defections occur. Both social cohesion and task cohesion may prevent players from leaving. While a higher level of social cohesion increases a player's tolerance towards defections, task cohesion is associated with her group performance in the past. With a higher level of task cohesion, it is more likely that a dissatisfied player will refer to the history and remains in her group if she was satisfied in the past. Our results reveal that social cohesion is detrimental to the evolution of cooperation while task cohesion facilitates it. This is because social cohesion hinders the conditional dissociation mechanism but task cohesion improves the robustness of cooperative groups which are usually vulnerable to mistakes. We also discuss other potential aspects of cohesion and how they can be investigated through our modelling. Overall, our analysis provides novel insights into the relationship between group cohesion and group performance through studying the group dynamics and suggests further application of evolutionary game theory in this area.


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