Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Memory Enhanced for Cheaters Versus Non-cheaters

  • Raoul BellAffiliated withHeinrich Heine University Düsseldorf Email author 
  • , Axel BuchnerAffiliated withHeinrich Heine University Düsseldorf Email author 


Cheater memory advantage; Memory for reputations; Reputational memory; Social source memory; Source memory advantage for faces of cheaters


Enhanced memory for the association between a face and cheating behavior in comparison to the association between a face and trustworthy or neutral behavior


Assumptions about memory are an important component of models of reciprocal cooperation. This can be exemplified using the well-known tit-for-tat strategy, which consists of (a) cooperating on the first move in a prisoner’s dilemma game and (b) then mirroring the partner’s behavior in the next round of the game. This strategy obviously implies that people are able to remember specific instances of cooperation or defection. All models of direct reciprocity require that the previous history of interactions is remembered to some extent. Increasingly complex strategies make increasing demands on memory. Models of indirect reciprocity often imply that reputational informat ...

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