It is well-known that people will adjust their first-order beliefs based on observations of others. We explore how such adjustments interact with second-order beliefs regarding universalism and relativism in a population. Across a range of simulations, we show that populations where individuals have a tendency toward universalism converge more quickly in coordination problems, and generate higher total payoffs, than do populations where individuals have a tendency toward relativism. Thus, in contexts where coordination is important, belief in universalism is advantageous. However, we also show, across a range of simulations, that universalism will enshrine inequalities and eliminate diversity, and in these cases it seems that relativism has its own advantages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)