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Evolutionary Dynamics, Game Theory, and Psychology.

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1 Evolutionary Dynamics, Game Theory, and Psychology

2 Today and next Tues: we will show you some work we are doing at PED -that uses evolutionary dynamics game theory experiments -to understand human psychology, e.g. Altruistic motives Sense of beauty Why we are principled

3 Will start off philosophical (in order to set the stage) Then will present ongoing research… This is work done at PED, with Erez, Oliver, Carl, Alex, Matthiajs, Martin …

4 Topic 1: Charitable Giving

5 We give A LOT ~2% of GDP are donated to charity ~ 2-4% of hours worked are volunteered

6 But we dont always give in the most effective way…

7

8 Habitat for Humanity: college educated 19 year olds whove never held a hammer fly halfway across the world To build new homes in places where there is plenty of cheap, qualified labor!

9 Is this just because we dont realize how ineffective Habitat for Humanity is? Or do we not care how effective we are?

10 IF we ACTUALLY care about being effective…we should give more when our gifts are matched, no? And even more so our gifts are tripled, no? Do we?

11 Some economists ran a study where they collected $ for charity… And they manipulated the matching rate

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13 What impact did the matching rate have? None…

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15 We ask… Why dont we care about effectiveness? How can we make giving more effective? More generally… Why are our altruistic preferences so funny? Can we characterize our altruistic preferences? And can we use this knowledge to increase giving? Or to make giving more impactful?

16 Topic 2: Beauty

17 A few facts about beauty…

18 Fact 1: varies by culture

19 e.g., lets learn about the ideal body weight in some indigenous populations in Nigeria...

20 Clearly, ideal body weight isnt the same there as here. Why not? Random cultural variation?

21 Likewise, ideal skin tone varies by culture… In Eastern countries, un-tanned skin is considered more attractive …

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23 And likewise, in the West in the old days…

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25 But nowadays in the West we seem to prefer tanned skin…

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27 Why did our preferences change? Why do they differ between East and West? Random fluctuations?

28 Even our ideal finger nail length varies by culture… Heres what finger nails look like on some men among the Khasi in N.E. India

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30 Fact 2: We like art that is authentic (even if looks the same!)

31 Let me tell you about a study that illustrated this…

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33 Some subjects were told the second painting was purposely designed by a different artist, making the second painting a forgery. Some subjects were told the same artist painted both. Within each group, half the subjects were told painting A was created first.

34 making the second painting a replica. Source: Newman and bloom (2011) Same artist Different artist making the second painting a replica.

35 Why do we like our art to be original?

36 Perhaps this has nothing to do with aesthetics… Well…when the study was repeated with an artifact (e.g. a car) instead of paintings, there was no effect…

37 Source: Newman and bloom (2011)

38 Topic 3: Principles

39 Why do we like people who are principled?

40 For instance, this statesmen in the West Wing who returns a card that can save his life...out of principlethis statesmen in the West Wing who returns a card that can save his life And we admire him for it…even though turning down the card helps no one

41 In contrast, people who are strategic and calculating, like this cop from the wire who prefer better stats to solving murders …are repulsive. Even though his strategic actions dont harm you…

42 Why do we like people who are principled/idealistic and dislike those who are strategic/calculated/Machiavellian, regardless of whether their actions help or harm us?

43 More generally… Where do our preferences and ideologies come from?

44 In our research… We try to understand from where such preferences and ideologies come from. Using evolutionary dynamics + game theory + experiments

45 Quick review: what is game theory?

46 Game theory models behavior in any social interaction Social interaction=my payoffs depend on what I do as well as what others do. Let me illustrate using a simple game…

47 5, 6 8, 4 3, 20, -3 U D LR The simplest game can be represented by the following payoff matrix

48 5,6 8, 4 3, 20, -3 U D LR Player 1 chooses between two actions

49 5, 6 8, 4 3, 20, -3 U D LR Player 2 simultaneously chooses between 2 actions

50 5, 6 8, 4 3, 20, -3 U D LR The payoffs to player 1 are determined by her action as well as the action of player 2

51 5, 6 8, 4 3, 20, -3 U D LR The payoffs to player 2 are determined by her action as well as the action of player 2

52 The main insight of game theory comes from the Nash equilibria Which often have counterintuitive properties, or allows us to clarify things we already know.

53 5, 6 8, 4 3, 20, -3 U D LR This game can be solved by finding the Nash equilibrium

54 5, 6 8, 4 3, 20, -3 U D LR (U, L) is a Nash Equilibrium b/c neither can benefit by unilaterally deviating

55 Predictions of game theory: If both expected (U,L), both would play (U,L)! (Nash is self enforcing)

56 5, 6 8, 4 3, 20, -3 U D LR (U,R) is NOT a Nash Equilibrium b/c 2 can benefit by unilaterally deviating to L

57 Game theory predicts: If both expected (U,R), player 2 would deviate! (I.e. if not Nash, cannot be stable)

58 Nash makes sense (arguably) if… -Uber-rational -Calculating

59

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61 Nash also makes sense (as 1 st approx.) if: 1) strategies that yield higher payoffs, reproduce faster 2) evolutionary dynamics Nash

62

63

64 E.g. Zahavis handicap principle

65 But why would game theory matter for our preferences/ideologies? We dont choose what to find beautiful? We didnt evolve to like long finger nails?

66 But… If preferences/ideologies learned/evolve… Nash becomes relevant… Heres why:

67 Our thesis (in a few steps):

68 1) Reinforcement learning/or prestige biased imitation causes behaviors that do well to grow in frequency…

69 T=0T=1 More successful behaviors imitated more Prestige Biased Imitation

70 T=0T=1 Reinforcement Learning More successful behaviors held more tenaciously

71 2) If one behavior is ALWAYS best…this will eventually lead to that behavior dominating…

72 T=0T=1T=2T=3

73 3) If however, the behavior is a strategy in a game…strategies still become more frequent if they fair well… But whether they do well could depend on what others are doing…so things can be a bit more complicated…nevertheless… The dynamics often (Not always! Must Check!) settle on a NE

74 T=0T=1T=2T=3 L L L L L L L L R R R R R R R L L L L L L L L R R L R R L L L L

75 4) Suppose now that instead of choosing actions in a game…people merely act in accordance with their ideologies or preferences… But ideologies and preferences ALSO can be (at least partially!) imitated or learned…

76 E.g. P L is preferences that causes action L to be taken…

77 T=0T=1 PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PRPR PRPR PRPR PRPR PRPR PRPR PRPR PLPL Feelings/beliefs that do better become more frequent

78 Then behavior will end up at a NE

79 T=0T=1T=2T=3 PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PRPR PRPR PRPR PRPR PRPR PRPR PRPR PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL PRPR PLPL PRPR PRPR PLPL PLPL PLPL PLPL

80 Then behavior will end up at a NE… Notice: -At NE with respect to the original payoffs, not the learned preferences!) -IF dynamics nash!) -no need to be aware of why we have these preferences/ideologies (philosophers can spin their wheels on how these ideologies are right) -IF dynamics nash under weak selection/high mutation, then dont even need to believe preferences/ideologies are THAT responsive to payoffs…just a little bit… And preferences/ideologies will have all sorts of (predictable) quirks that Nash has… -e.g. might like wasteful displays, if preferred partners can display at lower cost… -e.g. might desire to cooperate but not care about effectiveness...

81 OK… What can this approach teach us? What work needs to be done?

82 Some game theory modeling, demonstrating the quirky preferences/ideologies consistent with NE Some evolutionary dynamics, demonstrating the NE emerges from dynamic processes. Some experiments, testing the predictions of the models.

83 We will present examples of each: 1) Evolutionary dynamics costly signals (Which can explain why we evolved/learned to like authentic art…or why Indians like long nails) 2) Game Theory Model + Evolutionary Dynamics of cooperate without looking (which can explain why we like those who are principled. And also why love blinds us…and why we find markets for kidneys gross…And also leads to valuable prescriptions!) 3) Experiment demonstrating that people give more efficiently when efficiency commonly known (which is consistent with the ED+GT model of why we give inefficiently…and also leads to valuable prescription!)

84 Project 1: Experiment on (In)efficient Giving -(preliminary) experiment demonstrating that people give more efficiently when efficiency commonly known -(brief) discussion of ED+GT model

85 Heres the idea … If preferences/ideologies that motivate us to give evolved/learned because of reciprocity or partner choice… Then private information about effectiveness cannot matter Why? Because others dont know that information so cant reciprocate, punish, match etc. based on it

86 Ran a simple MTurk experiment showing that people give more effectively not only when they know efficiency, but when efficiency is commonly known

87 Design: Ask participants to distribute donations across a list of similar charities (in one of four categories) Subjects were told their contributions would be observed by a third party

88 We obtained ratings for charities by scraping

89

90 Three treatments: No Ratings: subjects provided no information about charity effectiveness Private Ratings: subjects given ratings by an external rating source, but told 3 rd party would not be given ratings Public Ratings: subjects given ratings and told 3 rd party would also be given ratings

91 Private Information – Condition

92 Public Information – Condition

93

94

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96 Note: can explain why we are not impacted by -matching -or scope -and give to inefficient charities like habitat for humanity… EVEN IF we knew (in)efficiency, since efficiency not commonly known!

97 Note: NOT just useless theorizing…leads to valuable prescription: To nudge the most impact out of existing prosocial motives, need to make information about effectiveness not just known but ALSO commonly known.

98 Project 2: Evolutionary Dynamics of Costly Signals

99 Recall…

100 First lets argue that long fingernails yield behavior consistent with Nash in a costly signaling model (and also ideal weight, skin tans, and authentic art)

101 Recall Zahavis explanation for the peacock tail Tail is costly for all, more costly for unfit males. So is NE where females more likely to mate With males with long tails, and only fit males find it worth the extra mating to grow long tail

102 Similarly for long nails… Long nails costly for all (tail hinders flight) More costly for farmers than teachers (more hindrance for unfit males) Females prefer mating with teachers (peahens prefer fit males)

103 This, we will argue is WHY Khasi females find long nails beautiful (we will later discuss how the same model can explain our other puzzles about beauty)

104 However, for this explanation to work, we need to be confident this Nash emerges in a dynamic model. (No one chooses what to find beautiful, they simply learn, via RL or PBI)

105 We -created stylized costly signaling model, in which there are costly signaling equilibria (separating equilibria … as well as other less interesting equilibria) -We investigate various dynamics and find conditions under which separating equilibrium emerges.

106 Here is the stylized model…

107 1 1 High Low P 1 1 S0S0 S1S1 S2S2 S3S3 2 2 Accept Reject

108 1 1 High Low P

109 1 1 High Low P

110 1 1 High Low P 1 1 S0S0 S1S1 S2S2 S3S S n < S n+1 S n< << S n+1 if low

111 1 1 High Low P 1 1 S0S0 S1S1 S2S2 S3S S n < S n+1 S n< << S n+1 if low

112 High Low P 1 1 S0S0 S1S1 S2S2 S3S3 2 2 Accept Reject S n < S n+1 S n< << S n+1 if low

113 High Low P 1 1 S0S0 S1S1 S2S2 S3S3 2 2 Accept Reject S n < S n+1 S n< << S n+1 if low e.g. 0,3,6,9 and 0,1,2,3 e.g. 5,5,-5 e.g. P=1/3

114 Examples of Strategy Profiles and Payoffs (0,-1,0) (-1,-1,-10/3)

115 Nash Equilibrium = s.t. none benefit by unilaterally deviating

116 We will investigate the dynamics E.g. Moran

117 s2s2 s2s2 s2s2 s2s2 s3s3 s3s3 s0s0 s0s0 s3s3 s3s3 High 1s s0s0 s0s0 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s0s0 s0s0 s1s1 s1s1 s0s0 s0s0 Low 1s {s 2, s 3 } 2s {s 2, s 3 } e.g.N L =100 N H =100 N 2 =150 {s 2, s 3 }

118 s0s0 s0s0 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s0s0 s0s0 s1s1 s1s1 s0s0 s0s0 Low 1s

119 s0s0 s0s0 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s0s0 s0s0 s1s1 s1s1 s0s0 s0s0 1-w+w(payoffs) e.g. w=.1.6.9

120 s0s0 s0s0 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s0s0 s0s0.

121 s0s0 s0s0 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s1s1 s3s3 s3s3 s1s1 s1s1 s0s0 s0s0. With probably μ choose random strategy

122

123

124

125 mu w

126 Efficient separating!

127 And if we aggregate across time, and many simulation runs?

128 X X X

129

130 Why is this equilibrium emerging? Because it is hard to get out of, compared to the other equilibrium.

131 As soon as receiver drifts to accepting 2 or 3 Enough receivers must have neutrally drifted to accept 1 so worth for good but not bad types Since good but not bad sending 1, receivers start accepting 1, to point where bad start sending Very quickly After bad start Sending 1, receivers stop Accepting 1 If in meantime Receivers stop Accepting 2 (by drift), then Both good and Bad better Sending 0 As soon as receiver drifts to accepting 1 or 2

132

133 Is this result robust?

134 1)payoffs 2)noise 3)experimentation rate 4)reinforcement learning

135 Reinforcement Learning

136 Even works for super high experimentation rates!

137 Does depend on interesting new condition: Do females prefer to pair with random male? P=1/2 No longer easy to leave pooling!

138

139 How can we interpret this condition? What if there arent that many farmers…e.g. in the U.S.? wont be attracted to long finger nails!

140 Similarly if, signals not costly (art that is replica?) Or if more costly for high type (sun exposure in U.S. today vs past vs China?)

141

142 Conclusion: Even though dont choose whats beautiful Some aspects can still be explained by costly signaling… Provided (ever so slightly) more likely to imitate successful peoples notion of beauty, or (even if just a tiny bit ) more likely to adhere to notions of beauty when lead to nice outcomes…

143 But for this conclusion… We needed to show how evolutionary dynamics work in costly signaling games

144 Project 3: Game Theory model + Evo Dynamics of Cooperating without Looking (recall: principled vs. strategic)

145 Suppose a friend asks you to proofread a paper… You hesitate while thinking about how big a pain it is and say, Hmm. Um. Well, OK. You get less credit than if you agreed w/o hesitation

146 Colleague asks you to attend his talk. You ask, will this benefit my research? before agreeing to attend. You get less credit than if you agreed without asking

147 Why do you get less credit for cooperating when you deliberate (look)?

148 Note: cannot be explained by existing models of repeated games, like repeated prisoners dilemma (In such models, players can only attend to your past actions not deliberation process)

149 Intuitively… Cooperators who dont look (cwol) can be trusted to cooperate even when the temptation to defect is high But how do we know this added trust is worth the cost of losing out on missed opportunities to defect?

150 We will… 1) Describe a simple model, the envelope game 2) Find (natural, intuitive) conditions under which CWOL is an equilibrium of this game 3) Show that even if agents are not consciously choosing their strategies but instead strategies are learned or evolved (replicator dynamic), cwol still emerges (i.e. has a sizeable basin of attraction) 4) Interpret these results in terms of some less straightforward social applications, such as why we: 1) like politicians who appear principled 2) shun taboo tradeoffs 3) are blinded by love For which… Our equilibrium condition will yield novel predictions This analysis will also lead to some useful prescriptions

151 Here is our model…

152 The Envelope Game

153 First… We model variation in costs of cooperation as follows: With probability p, Low Temptation card is chosen and stuffed in envelope With probability 1-p, High Temptation is chosen

154 Second… We model player 1s choice of whether to look 1 chooses whether or not to open the envelope Crucially we assume others (player 2) can observe whether the envelope was opened 2 2

155 2 2 Third… 1 then chooses whether or not to Cooperate 2 is again able to observe

156 Fourth… We model others trust in Player 1 Player 2 chooses whether to continue the interaction or exit (If he continues, the game repeats, with future payoffs discounted by w)

157 We assume the payoffs have the following properties: 1)Cooperation is costly for Player 1, especially when the temptation is high 2)Both players like cooperative interactions, but Player 2 would prefer no interaction to one in which Player 1 sometimes defects

158 a, b c H, dc L, d C D High Temptation Low Temptation We represent this using the following variables:

159 a, b c H, dc L, d C D High Temptation Low Temptation Our assumptions then amount to: 1) c H >c L > a> 0 2) b*p + d*(1–p) < 0 < b

160 Result 1: 1 cooperates without looking (CWOL) 2 continues iff 1 CWOL is an equilibrium, provided: a/(1-w) > c L p + c H (1-p)

161 Intuition: If 1 deviates to look, might as well defect, in which case expect c 1 p + c 2 (1-p) today and 0 ever after If CWOL, get a today and henceforth, i.e. a/(1-w) CWOL is an equilibrium iff a/(1-w) > c L p + c H (1-p) Interpretation: CWOL is an equilibrium iff EXPECTED gains from defecting today are less than the value of maintaining a cooperative interaction

162 Lets contrast this with equilibrium conditions for cooperate with looking (CWL) to see when looking matters Now player 1 may be tempted to deviate when she knows the temptation is high, in which case she would get c H So we need a/(1-w) > c H I.e. CWL is an equilibrium iff MAXIMAL gains from defecting today are less than the value of maintaining a cooperative interaction Hence we predict Looking will matter when the expected gains from defecting are small but the maximal gains are large

163 Likewise, if we relax our assumption that b*p+d*(1–p)<0

164 What if strategies are not consciously calculated? For instance, we might trust people based on a gut feeling or we might refuse to interact with people who disobey our ethics. Or we might just have a heuristic that tells us not to look Thats where the main thesis of last class fits in! We assume that feelings, ethics, heuristics that yield higher payoffs are more likely to be imitated (prestige biased imitation), reproduce (natural selection), or held tenaciously (reinforcement learning) We will model this using the replicator dynamic, and show CWOL also emerges in the relevant parameter region

165 In the replicator dynamic… -an infinite population of each Player 1s and player 2s -at any point in time, each strategy has a certain frequency -payoffs are determined based on the expected opponents play, given this frequency -strategies reproduce proportional to their payoffs

166 Note: -Replicator requires few strategies, so we restrict to 7 that include all important deviants -Replicator cannot be solved analytically; we numerically estimate in computer simulation -We will need to classify strategies into those that are behaviorally equivalent

167 Restricted Strategy Space

168 Classifying Populations

169 Simulation For each of many parameter values… For each of 5,000 trials… We seed the population with random mixtures of strategies Numerically estimate the replicator dynamic (which is an ODE) Wait for the population to stabilize Then classify the outcomes (ignoring small errors)

170 We find… Population ends up at CWOL fairly often in relevant parameter region

171 a*=c H /c L p + c H (1-p),)a**=c H /(1-w)

172 Now lets discuss some social applications…

173 First application: Why do we like politicians who have principles and not those who are strategic (e.g. those who flip flop)? (and more generally, why do we like those who are principled? And when will we care?)

174 We argue… Someone who is strategic is likely to choose the policy that benefits himself when given the power When will we care if others are strategic? Not if incentives sufficiently aligned that wont ever be in a position where tempted to drastically harm us (i.e. b*p+d*(1–p)<0

175 Second application: Taboo tradeoffs I.e. unwillingness to tradeoff sacred (e.g. life), against mundane (e.g. money) E.g. many find economists perverse for applying cost benefit to value of life Taboo to CONSIDER tradeoff

176 We find such tradeoffs disgusting because… Such tradeoffs signal a willingness to look at the benefits of defecting disgust signals we wouldnt look, or wouldnt interact with looker When will we find such tradeoffs disgusting? Usually not worth transgressing, but sometimes very beneficial i.e. c H >a/(1-w) > c L p + c H (1-p) (And those transgressions harmful)

177 This has an important policy implication: While politicians might want to signal that they would never trade lives for money The gains from appearing trustworthy accrue to the politicians while costs accrue to us We should force policymakers and lawyers to tackle these admittedly hard-to-fathom tradeoffs

178 Third application: love Love has the property that it blinds us to the costs and benefits of doing good to our partner (e.g., dont cheat regardless of opportunity)

179 Why does love have this property? Because those in love can be trusted, so will make better long-term partners

180 Gives three new predictions about love

181 First… Falling in or out of love depends on the distribution of temptations, but not their immediate realizations That is, people may fall out of love when there is a permanent change in opportunities, but not an immediate temptation

182 Second… Love comes with a cost–the cost of ignored temptations–and suggests that this cost must be compensated with commensurate investment in the relationship Only sometimes is it worthwhile for the recipient of love to compensate a suitor for such missed opportunities, o/w will prefer suitor not fall in love

183 Third… Just looking at the costs or benefits can hasten the demise of a relationship, even if dont defect Perhaps why partner may get upset if sees you looking even if never act on temptation Or why get upset when partners suggest a pre-nup

184 General conclusion:

185 In our research… We try to understand from where such preferences and ideologies come from. Using evolutionary dynamics + game theory + experiments

186 Some game theory modeling, demonstrating the quirky preferences/ideologies consistent with NE Some evolutionary dynamics, demonstrating the NE emerges from dynamic processes. Some experiments, testing the predictions of the models.

187 We will present examples of each: 1) Evolutionary dynamics costly signals (Which can explain why we evolved/learned to like authentic art…or why Indians like long nails) 2) Game Theory Model + Evolutionary Dynamics of cooperate without looking (which can explain why we like those who are principled. And also why love blinds us…and why we find markets for kidneys gross…And also leads to valuable prescriptions!) 3) Experiment demonstrating that people give more efficiently when efficiency commonly known (which is consistent with the ED+GT model of why we give inefficiently…and also leads to valuable prescription!)


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