The Evolution of Cooperation

Revised Edition

The Evolution of Cooperation

A famed political scientist's classic argument for a more cooperative world We assume that, in a world ruled by natural selection, selfishness pays. So why cooperate? In The Evolution of Cooperation, political scientist Robert Axelrod seeks to answer this question. In 1980, he organized the famed Computer Prisoners Dilemma Tournament, which sought to find the optimal strategy for survival in a particular game. Over and over, the simplest strategy, a cooperative program called Tit for Tat, shut out the competition. In other words, cooperation, not unfettered competition, turns out to be our best chance for survival. A vital book for leaders and decision makers, The Evolution of Cooperation reveals how cooperative principles help us think better about everything from military strategy, to political elections, to family dynamics.

Genetic and Cultural Evolution of Cooperation

Genetic and Cultural Evolution of Cooperation

Seeking to help exchanges between researchers in different disciplines, the 90th Dahlem Workshop was convened. This book, which grew out of that meeting, addresses such topics as emotions in human co-operation, reciprocity, biological markets and co-operation and conflict in multi-cellularity.

The Evolution of Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma

The Evolution of Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma

This paper examines evolutionary dynamic behavior in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma. It is first noted that the fitness of cooperation found in the best known simulation of this type, that by Robert Axelrod, stems from strategy set restrictions that altered Nash equilibrium behavior: Axelrod's restricted game has a continuum of pure cooperation equilibria and no pure defection equilibrium. New simulations, maintaining the finite game's equilibrium structure, are presented here. It is found that although cooperation is ultimately exploited and extinguished, dynamic paths can pseudo converge in ways that allow partial cooperation to flourish for extended periods of time. (Author) (kr).

The Origins of Virtue

The Origins of Virtue

Why are people nice to each other? What are the reasons for altrusim? Matt Ridley explains how the human mind has evolved a special instinct for social exchange, offering a lucid and persuasive argument about the paradox of human benevolence.

A Formal Analysis of the Evolution of Cooperation

A Formal Analysis of the Evolution of Cooperation

We examine a formal model of the way a growing population selects behavior. The members of the population engage in randomly-selected binary interactions, with payoffs representing a Prisoners' Dilemma. We assume that players can recognize each other if they have met before, and adopt one of two dynamic strategies; they either play the non-cooperative strategy (G) at every move, which we denote D, or they play a tit-for-tat strategy, in which they begin by playing the cooperative move(C) and continue playing C if the opponent's last move was C and G if the opponent's last move was G. This latter strategy is denoted T. The interactions are repeated, and two players meet again with probability delta epsilon (0,1). Formally, it is as if each player met a random member of the population and played a discounted supergame with discount factor delta forever afterwards. We assume that the population and the mix of behaviors changes over time in a simple fashion. These qualitative dynamics will allow us to say something about the stability of various regimes of behavior in terms of population size and behavior. The organization of the paper is as follows. Section II contains the model and definitions, and examines the evolution of cooperative behavior for the special case of a static population. Section III combines the dynamics of behavior with those of population growth. Finally, Section IV relates the present results to results of repeated play where players are rational.

Social dilemmas, institutions, and the evolution of cooperation

Social dilemmas, institutions, and the evolution of cooperation

The question of how cooperation and social order can evolve from a Hobbesian state of nature of a “war of all against all” has always been at the core of social scientific inquiry. Social dilemmas are the main analytical paradigm used by social scientists to explain competition, cooperation, and conflict in human groups. The formal analysis of social dilemmas allows for identifying the conditions under which cooperation evolves or unravels. This knowledge informs the design of institutions that promote cooperative behavior. Yet to gain practical relevance in policymaking and institutional design, predictions derived from the analysis of social dilemmas must be put to an empirical test. The collection of articles in this book gives an overview of state-of-the-art research on social dilemmas, institutions, and the evolution of cooperation. It covers theoretical contributions and offers a broad range of examples on how theoretical insights can be empirically verified and applied to cooperation problems in everyday life. By bringing together a group of distinguished scholars, the book fills an important gap in sociological scholarship and addresses some of the most interesting questions of human sociality.

Intention Recognition, Commitment and Their Roles in the Evolution of Cooperation

From Artificial Intelligence Techniques to Evolutionary Game Theory Models

Intention Recognition, Commitment and Their Roles in the Evolution of Cooperation

This original and timely monograph describes a unique self-contained excursion that reveals to the readers the roles of two basic cognitive abilities, i.e. intention recognition and arranging commitments, in the evolution of cooperative behavior. This book analyses intention recognition, an important ability that helps agents predict others’ behavior, in its artificial intelligence and evolutionary computational modeling aspects, and proposes a novel intention recognition method. Furthermore, the book presents a new framework for intention-based decision making and illustrates several ways in which an ability to recognize intentions of others can enhance a decision making process. By employing the new intention recognition method and the tools of evolutionary game theory, this book introduces computational models demonstrating that intention recognition promotes the emergence of cooperation within populations of self-regarding agents. Finally, the book describes how commitment provides a pathway to the evolution of cooperative behavior, and how it further empowers intention recognition, thereby leading to a combined improved strategy.

The Evolution of Human Co-operation

The Evolution of Human Co-operation

How do people living in small groups without money, markets, police and rigid social classes develop norms of economic and social cooperation that are sustainable over time? This book addresses this fundamental question and explains the origin, structure and spread of stateless societies. Using insights from game theory, ethnography and archaeology, Stanish shows how ritual - broadly defined - is the key. Ritual practices encode elaborate rules of behavior and are ingenious mechanisms of organizing society in the absence of coercive states. As well as asking why and how people choose to co-operate, Stanish also provides the theoretical framework to understand this collective action problem. He goes on to highlight the evolution of cooperation with ethnographic and archaeological data from around of the world. Merging evolutionary game theory concepts with cultural evolutionary theory, this book will appeal to those seeking a transdisciplinary approach to one of the greatest problems in human evolution.