Survival Game: How Game Theory Explains the Biology of Cooperation and Competition / Edition 1

Survival Game: How Game Theory Explains the Biology of Cooperation and Competition / Edition 1

by David P. Barash
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0805076999

ISBN-13: 2900805076997

Pub. Date: 09/01/2004

Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.

Humans, like woodchucks, chimpanzees, and other animals, compete or cooperate in order to get food, shelter, and territory. But how do they decide whether to muscle out or team up with their rivals? In The Survival Game, David P. Barash synthesizes the newest ideas from psychology, economics, and biology to explore the roots of human strategy. Drawing on game theory -

Overview

Humans, like woodchucks, chimpanzees, and other animals, compete or cooperate in order to get food, shelter, and territory. But how do they decide whether to muscle out or team up with their rivals? In The Survival Game, David P. Barash synthesizes the newest ideas from psychology, economics, and biology to explore the roots of human strategy. Drawing on game theory -- the study of how individuals make decisions -- he delves into the give-and-take of scheduling plans with a spouse and the maneuvers of an arms race alongside the strategies of "less rational" animals. He explains the classic Hawk-Dove stand-off, where people opt to be aggressive or yielding, and draws analogies to the territorial battles of speckled wood butterflies. The Prisoner's Dilemma, the Game of Chicken, and Follow the Leader turn up in examples as disparate as investors' picks in a market bubble and the mating antics of the yellow dung fly. Barash ultimately sheds light on what makes our decisions human, and what we can glean from game theory and the natural world as we negotiate and compete with others in our daily lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900805076997
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
320

Table of Contents

1.The Games We All Play: What They Are, Why They Matter1
What's the Big Idea?
Sartre's Dictum
Isn't It All Too Machiavellian?
The Regrettable Reality of Conflict
What It'll Tell Us and What It Won't
Duels, Truels, and Rules
2.Mastering the Matrix35
Coordination Games
Pascal's Wager
Simple Strategies
Follow the Leader?
Guessing Games
The Battle of the Bismarck Sea
3.Prisoner's Dilemma and the Problem of Cooperation67
The Classic Formulation
A Few Examples
Forward Thinking and Backward Induction
Other Ways Out?
Axelrod's Tournament and Rapoport's TIT FOR TAT
The Live-and-Let-Live System During World War I
Reciprocity
Future Tripping
Prisoner's Dilemma as Rorschach Test
Zero-Sum Jealousy
4.Social Dilemmas: Personal Gain Versus Public Good121
Some Examples
Social Dilemmas and the Social Contract
The Free-Rider Problem
The Tragedy of the Commons
Rousseau's Stag Hunt
A Bit of Psychology: Groups and Grouches
Some More Psychology: Lifeboats, Loners, and Losers
5.Games of Chicken165
The Classic Case
Some Examples: Chickens, One to One
Madmen, Steering Wheels, and Other Ploys
Ultimatum Games
Social Chickens
War and Peace
The Conscious Chicken
6.Animal Antics201
Snaggle-Mouths, Side-Blotches, and Stability
Sex
Social Dilemmas Among Natural Groups
Hawks and Doves
Bullies, Bourgeois, and Other Complications
Dads, Cads, Coys, and Sluts
Different Ways of Being a Male
7.Thoughts from the Underground245
On Being Reasonable
On Being Unreasonable
Stubborn Unreasonableness
Predictable Unreasonableness
Understandable Unreasonableness
A Troublesome Fallacy
"Logical" Vicious Circles
Pas Trop de Zele
Notes279
Acknowledgments289
Index291

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