Cooperation & Trust LO5896

Charles Parry (
28 Feb 96 23:11:16 EST

Cooperation & Trust LO5800

An important realization for me in digesting "The Evolution of
Cooperation" by Robert Axelrod, regarding the emergence of cooperation
between self-serving actors in iterations of Prisoner's Dilemma situations
- and thinking about real life application of strategies such as TIT for
TAT is that in order for cooperation to emerge:

1] it is important that the relationship have lots of iterations of
exchange/risk (this can be accelerated by chunking strategies in managing
a relationship)
2] there must be structures strongly encouraging a long term relationship
so that end games don't get stimulated. This point is not strongly enough
made IMHO in the book. Keep in mind that these strategies were tested
against one another in a very high number (was it a thousand - I don't
recall exactly, but certainly not "several" as might be a common human
frame) of iterations. This one seems often tougher to manage, but for me
has been valuable to take into account when doing contracting.

Charles Parry
Specialized Resources International

Boston University Sargent Camp
36 Sargent Camp Road
Hancock, New Hampshire 03449 USA
Fax: 603.525.4151 Tel: 603.525.4451


Charles Parry <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>