The ‘tit-for-tat’ strategy is distinguished by its regularity and its foreseeable nature . These two characteristics reinforce mutual confidence between partners. They also result in a network in which all relationships are not equal. Relationships maintained on a long term basis by repeated cooperative actions are worth potentially more than new relationships. It is a lesson which serial networkers from such social networks as LinkedIn and Viadeo would do well to contemplate. What is the use of having hundreds of connections in our network if nothing occurs after having added them? Such a social network behaves like a brain in which no nerve impulse circulates between the neurons.
Yet, regularity and foreseeability can be seriously thwarted by our passions and impulsive, chaotic reactions.
Who among us has never answered in an abrupt way to a misunderstood e-mail because we were in bad mood at the time, for reasons entirely unrelated with the sender of the message?
This kind of behavior creates misunderstandings which are real false notes in the cooperation.
In the long run, however, the fact that partners are able to overcome these sudden starts reinforces confidence. After all, we are only human.