Lying on networks: the role of structure and topology in promoting honesty

Capraro, Valerio ORCID:, Perc, Matjaž ORCID: and Vilone, Daniele ORCID: (2020) Lying on networks: the role of structure and topology in promoting honesty. Physical Review E, 101 (3) , 032305. ISSN 2470-0045 [Article] (doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.101.032305)

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Lies can have a negating impact on governments, companies, and the society as a whole. Understanding the dynamics of lying is therefore of crucial importance across different fields of research. While lying has been studied before in well-mixed populations, it is a fact that real interactions are rarely well-mixed. Indeed, they are usually structured and thus best described by networks. Here we therefore use the Monte Carlo method to study the evolution of lying in the sender-receiver game in a one-parameter family of networks, systematically covering complete networks, small-world networks, and one-dimensional rings. We show that lies which benefit the sender at a cost to the receiver, the so-called black lies, are less likely to proliferate on networks than they do in well-mixed populations. Honesty is thus more likely to evolve, but only when the benefit for the sender is smaller than the cost for the receiver. Moreover, this effect is particularly strong in small-world networks, but less so in the one-dimensional ring. For lies that favor the receiver at a cost to the sender, the so-called altruistic white lies, we show that honesty is also more likely to evolve than it is in well-mixed populations. But contrary to black lies, this effect is more expressed in the one-dimensional ring, whereas in small-world networks it is present only when the cost to the sender is greater than the benefit for the receiver. Lastly, for lies that benefit both the sender and the receiver, the so-called Pareto white lies, we show that the network structure actually favors the evolution of lying, but this only when the benefit for the sender is slightly greater than the benefit for the receiver. In this case again the small-world topology acts as an amplifier of the effect, while other network topologies fail to do the same. In addition to these main results we discuss several other findings, which together show clearly that the structure of interactions and the overall topology of the network critically determine the dynamics of lying.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Economics
Item ID: 29185
Notes on copyright: This is the accepted version of the manuscript "Lying on networks: the role of structure and topology in promoting honesty", published in the journal "Physical Review E" with an abstract available via the journal site at:
©2020 American Physical Society
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Depositing User: Valerio Capraro
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2020 08:56
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:35

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