Cooperation, correlation and the evolutionary dominance of tag-based strategies

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2 Scopus citations


Cooperation in the prisoner’s dilemma is possible if interactions are sufficiently correlated. We show that when conditions favorable to the evolution of cooperation hold (rb > c) tag-based strategies dominate. Thus, well-meaning interventions aimed at promoting cooperation may succeed but will often lead to in-group favoritism and ethnocentric behavior. Exploring ways that promote cooperation but do not usher in tag-based strategies should be a focal point of future work on the evolution of cooperation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Cooperation
  • Game Theory
  • Social Evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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