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The evolution of generosity in the ultimatum game
Michigan State University, East Lansing, United States.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4872-1961
2016 (English)In: Scientific Reports, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, article id 34102Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When humans fail to make optimal decisions in strategic games and economic gambles, researchers typically try to explain why that behaviour is biased. To this end, they search for mechanisms that cause human behaviour to deviate from what seems to be the rational optimum. But perhaps human behaviour is not biased; perhaps research assumptions about the optimality of strategies are incomplete. In the one-shot anonymous symmetric ultimatum game (UG), humans fail to play optimally as defined by the Nash equilibrium. However, the distinction between kin and non-kin - with kin detection being a key evolutionary adaption - is often neglected when deriving the "optimal" strategy. We computationally evolved strategies in the UG that were equipped with an evolvable probability to discern kin from non-kin. When an opponent was not kin, agents evolved strategies that were similar to those used by humans. We therefore conclude that the strategy humans play is not irrational. The deviation between behaviour and the Nash equilibrium may rather be attributable to key evolutionary adaptations, such as kin detection. Our findings further suggest that social preference models are likely to capture mechanisms that permit people to play optimally in an evolutionary context. Once this context is taken into account, human behaviour no longer appears irrational © The Author(s) 2016.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group , 2016. Vol. 6, article id 34102
Keywords [en]
behavior, evolutionary adaptation, human, model, probability, scientist
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-37177DOI: 10.1038/srep34102Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84989861316OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-37177DiVA, id: diva2:1557877
Available from: 2021-05-27 Created: 2021-05-27 Last updated: 2022-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Hintze, Arend

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf