Evolution and the Theory of Games

  title={Evolution and the Theory of Games},
  author={John Maynard Smith},
  journal={American scientist},
  volume={64 1},
I want in this article to trace the history of an idea. It is beginning to become clear that a range of problems in evolution theory can most appropriately be attacked by a modification of the theory of games, a branch of mathematics first formulated by Von Neumann and Morgenstern in 1944 for the analysis of human conflicts. The problems are diverse and include not only the behaviour of animals in contest situations but also some problems in the evolution of genetic mechanisms and in the… 

Evolutionary game theory

The evolution of language, the evolution of cooperation and convergence towards risk-dominant equilibria are discussed, which allow the formalization of intuitive insights that could not be formalised by traditional, rationalistic, game theory.

Game Theory and Biology

In biology, game theory is a branch of evolutionary theory that is particularly suited to the study of interactions between individuals. The evolution of animal fighting behaviour was among the first

The Evolution of Stable Strategies

The theory of games has been applied for nearly four decades to models of economic, social, and biological behaviour, largely through the notion of optimal strategy, but more recently through the

Game theoretic models and respect for ownership

  • J. Archer
  • Biology
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 1986
of the original article: Evolutionary game theory is a method of analysing the evolution of phenotypes (including types of behaviour) when the fitness of a particular phenotype depends on its

Theory of Games: an Introduction

'Game Theory' is a mathematical concept, which deals with the formulation of the correct strategy that will enable an individual or entity (i.e., player), when confronted by a complex challenge, to

Spectacular phenomena and limits to rationality in genetic and cultural evolution.

A simple model is presented to show some limitations of the game-theory approach, and the conditions in which evolutionary equilibria cannot be maintained, to support the view that behaviour is often not at equilibrium.

Can Evolutionary Game Theory Evolve in Sociology

Although evolutionary game theory has been popular in social sciences, we have seldom checked its utility as a tool in sociology. In this paper I argue that evolutionary game theory is a good tool

Strategic Interaction in Humans and Other Animals

The history of game theory goes back to early 20th-century works by Emile Borel, Ernst Zermelo, and John von Neumann. But the field really took off with the publication of John von Neumann and Oskar

Incorporating rules for responding into evolutionary games

It is argued that most two-player games should be modelled as involving a series of interactions in which opponents negotiate the final outcome, and the evolutionarily stable negotiation rule of each player is the best rule given the rule of its opponent.

Game Theory and the History of Ideas about Rationality: An Introductory Survey

Although it may seem from its formalism that game theory must have sprung from the mind of John von Neumann as a corollary of his work on computers or theoretical physics, it should come as no real



The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection

Although it is true that most text-books of genetics open with a chapter on biometry, closer inspection will reveal that this has little connexion with the body of the work, and that more often than not it is merely belated homage to a once fashionable study.

Evolution and the Theory of Games

In the Hamadryas baboon, males are substantially larger than females. A troop of baboons is subdivided into a number of ‘one-male groups’, consisting of one adult male and one or more females with

The Evolution of Horn-Like Organs

Hornlike organs evolved independently in a number of mammalian families to function as weapons inflicting damage; as defense organs shielding their owner; as binding organs allowing opponents a secure lock in battle; as display organs having an a priori intimidating effect on certain conspecifics.

Male transfer in olive baboons

In Papio anubis it seems that this problem of inbreeding is reduced by the transfer of males between groups, and in a population studied at Combe National Park in western Tanzania inbreeding may be essentially avoided.

The Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour

Logic of animal conflict

The Logic of Animal Conflict

Game theory and computer simulation analyses show, however, that a “limited war” strategy benefits individual animals as well as the species.

Extraordinary sex ra tios

  • Science
  • 1967