Publication

Strategically influencing an uncertain future

Govaert, A. & Cao, M., 22-Jul-2020, In : Scientific Reports. 10, 8 p., 12169.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

APA

Govaert, A., & Cao, M. (2020). Strategically influencing an uncertain future. Scientific Reports, 10, [12169]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69006-x

Author

Govaert, Alain ; Cao, Ming. / Strategically influencing an uncertain future. In: Scientific Reports. 2020 ; Vol. 10.

Harvard

Govaert, A & Cao, M 2020, 'Strategically influencing an uncertain future', Scientific Reports, vol. 10, 12169. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69006-x

Standard

Strategically influencing an uncertain future. / Govaert, Alain; Cao, Ming.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 10, 12169, 22.07.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Vancouver

Govaert A, Cao M. Strategically influencing an uncertain future. Scientific Reports. 2020 Jul 22;10. 12169. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69006-x


BibTeX

@article{fd35efd0740246c98cdf164983992dd3,
title = "Strategically influencing an uncertain future",
abstract = "Many of today{\textquoteright}s most pressing societal concerns require decisions which take into account a distant and uncertain future. Recent developments in strategic decision-making suggest that individuals, or a small group of individuals, can unilaterally influence the collective outcome of such complex social dilemmas. However, these results do not account for the extent to which decisions are moderated by uncertainty in the probability or timing of future outcomes that characterise the valuation of a (distant) uncertain future. Here we develop a general framework that captures interactions among uncertainty, the resulting time-inconsistent discounting, and their consequences for decision-making processes. In deterministic limits, existing theories can be recovered. More importantly, new insights are obtained into the possibilities for strategic influence when the valuation of the future is uncertain. We show that in order to unilaterally promote and sustain cooperation in social dilemmas, decisions of generous and extortionate strategies should be adjusted to the level of uncertainty. In particular, generous payoff relations cannot be enforced during periods of greater risk (which we term the “generosity gap”), unless the strategic enforcer orients their strategy towards a more distant future by consistently choosing “selfless” cooperative decisions; likewise, the possibilities for extortion are directly limited by the level of uncertainty. Our results have implications for policies that aim to solve societal concerns with consequences for a distant future and provides a theoretical starting point for investigating how collaborative decision-making can help solve long-standing societal dilemmas.",
keywords = "DELAYED REWARDS, LIFE-SPAN, GAMES, PROBABILITY, COOPERATION, PERFORMANCE, RECIPROCITY",
author = "Alain Govaert and Ming Cao",
year = "2020",
month = jul,
day = "22",
doi = "10.1038/s41598-020-69006-x",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Strategically influencing an uncertain future

AU - Govaert, Alain

AU - Cao, Ming

PY - 2020/7/22

Y1 - 2020/7/22

N2 - Many of today’s most pressing societal concerns require decisions which take into account a distant and uncertain future. Recent developments in strategic decision-making suggest that individuals, or a small group of individuals, can unilaterally influence the collective outcome of such complex social dilemmas. However, these results do not account for the extent to which decisions are moderated by uncertainty in the probability or timing of future outcomes that characterise the valuation of a (distant) uncertain future. Here we develop a general framework that captures interactions among uncertainty, the resulting time-inconsistent discounting, and their consequences for decision-making processes. In deterministic limits, existing theories can be recovered. More importantly, new insights are obtained into the possibilities for strategic influence when the valuation of the future is uncertain. We show that in order to unilaterally promote and sustain cooperation in social dilemmas, decisions of generous and extortionate strategies should be adjusted to the level of uncertainty. In particular, generous payoff relations cannot be enforced during periods of greater risk (which we term the “generosity gap”), unless the strategic enforcer orients their strategy towards a more distant future by consistently choosing “selfless” cooperative decisions; likewise, the possibilities for extortion are directly limited by the level of uncertainty. Our results have implications for policies that aim to solve societal concerns with consequences for a distant future and provides a theoretical starting point for investigating how collaborative decision-making can help solve long-standing societal dilemmas.

AB - Many of today’s most pressing societal concerns require decisions which take into account a distant and uncertain future. Recent developments in strategic decision-making suggest that individuals, or a small group of individuals, can unilaterally influence the collective outcome of such complex social dilemmas. However, these results do not account for the extent to which decisions are moderated by uncertainty in the probability or timing of future outcomes that characterise the valuation of a (distant) uncertain future. Here we develop a general framework that captures interactions among uncertainty, the resulting time-inconsistent discounting, and their consequences for decision-making processes. In deterministic limits, existing theories can be recovered. More importantly, new insights are obtained into the possibilities for strategic influence when the valuation of the future is uncertain. We show that in order to unilaterally promote and sustain cooperation in social dilemmas, decisions of generous and extortionate strategies should be adjusted to the level of uncertainty. In particular, generous payoff relations cannot be enforced during periods of greater risk (which we term the “generosity gap”), unless the strategic enforcer orients their strategy towards a more distant future by consistently choosing “selfless” cooperative decisions; likewise, the possibilities for extortion are directly limited by the level of uncertainty. Our results have implications for policies that aim to solve societal concerns with consequences for a distant future and provides a theoretical starting point for investigating how collaborative decision-making can help solve long-standing societal dilemmas.

KW - DELAYED REWARDS

KW - LIFE-SPAN

KW - GAMES

KW - PROBABILITY

KW - COOPERATION

KW - PERFORMANCE

KW - RECIPROCITY

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-020-69006-x

DO - 10.1038/s41598-020-69006-x

M3 - Article

C2 - 32699305

VL - 10

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

M1 - 12169

ER -

ID: 129899786