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dc.contributor.authorBshary, Redouan
dc.contributor.authorZuberbuhler, Klaus
dc.contributor.authorvan Schaik, Carel
dc.identifier.citationBshary , R , Zuberbuhler , K & van Schaik , C 2016 , ' Why mutual helping in most natural systems is neither conflict-free nor based on maximal conflict ' , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences , vol. 371 , no. 1687 , 20150091 .
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-8378-088X/work/64360719
dc.descriptionFunding: All authors are funded by individual grants from the Swiss Science Foundation.en
dc.description.abstractMutual helping for direct benefits can be explained by various game theoretical models, which differ mainly in terms of the underlying conflict of interest between two partners. Conflict is minimal if helping is self-serving and the partner benefits as a by-product. In contrast, conflict is maximal if partners are in a prisoner’s dilemma with both having the payoff-dominant option of not returning the other’s investment. Here, we provide evolutionary and ecological arguments for why these two extremes are often unstable under natural conditions and propose that interactions with intermediate levels of conflict are frequent evolutionary endpoints. We argue that by product helping is prone to becoming an asymmetric investment game since even small variation in by-product benefits will lead to the evolution of partner choice, leading to investments and partner monitoring. Second, iterated prisoner’s dilemmas tend to take place in stable social groups where the fitness of partners is interdependent, to the effect that a certain level of helping is self-serving. In sum, intermediate levels of mutual helping are expected in nature, while efficient partner control mechanisms may allow reaching higher levels.
dc.relation.ispartofPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciencesen
dc.subjectBy-product mutualismen
dc.subjectPrisoner's dilemmaen
dc.subjectBiological marketen
dc.subjectG Geography. Anthropology. Recreationen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleWhy mutual helping in most natural systems is neither conflict-free nor based on maximal conflicten
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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