No Sword Bites So Fiercly as an Evil Tongue? Gossip Wrecks Reputation, but Enhances Cooperation (EVILTONGUE)

Social norms in general, and norms of cooperation in particular, are the cement of all human societies. For the difficult problems of the maintenance and enforcement of social norms and of cooperation, humans have developed surprisingly complex solutions. Reputation mechanisms and gossip are certainly among the compound informal solutions. According to common wisdom, gossip channels mainly negative and often fictitious information. If it is so, how can dishonest gossip and the resulting biased reputations legitimize social order and promote cooperation? This is the main puzzle that is tackled in the EVILTONGUE project at RECENS, Hungarian Academy of Sciences led by Károly Takács, exploiting a wide scale of instruments. The project is supported by European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 648693).

Principal Investigator: Károly Takács

The video (and the music) has been prepared by Bence Ságvári.