Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Game Theory

Body of economic behavior theory integrated into biological theory by Lewontin and Maynard Smith in which individual choices by competitors are seen as economic, optimized, and/or strategic, and determined in part by the behaviors of synchronic players in a common ecological setting. Models are used for situations where an optimum strategy is not fixed and depends upon the outcome most likely to be adopted by opponents.

See tit-for-tat strategy, optimal foraging theory, and prisoner’s dilemma model.

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