The evolution of reciprocity in sizable groups

Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

434 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently, several authors have investigated the evolution of reciprocal altruism using the repeated prisoner's dilemma game. These models suggest that natural selection is likely to favor behavioral strategies leading to reciprocal cooperation when pairs of individuals interact repeatedly in potentially cooperative situations. Using the repeated n-person prisoner's dilemma game, we consider whether reciprocal altruism is also likely to evolve when social interactions involve more individuals. We show that the conditions that allow the evolution of reciprocal cooperation become extremely restrictive as group size increases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-356
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume132
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 1988
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

prison inmates
Altruism
altruism
Reciprocity
Prisoner's Dilemma Game
Genetic Selection
Interpersonal Relations
group size
cooperatives
natural selection
Likely
Repeated Games
Natural Selection
Social Interaction
Person
Prisoner Dilemma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

The evolution of reciprocity in sizable groups. / Boyd, Robert; Richerson, Peter J.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 132, No. 3, 07.06.1988, p. 337-356.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Boyd, Robert ; Richerson, Peter J. / The evolution of reciprocity in sizable groups. In: Journal of Theoretical Biology. 1988 ; Vol. 132, No. 3. pp. 337-356.
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