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dc.contributor.authorStewart, Alexander J
dc.contributor.authorPlotkin, Joshua B
dc.identifier.citationStewart , A J & Plotkin , J B 2016 , ' Small groups and long memories promote cooperation ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 6 , 26889 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 272143307
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 4a484417-ec13-4277-9e79-e31810e2fc09
dc.identifier.otherPubMed: 27247059
dc.identifier.otherPubMedCentral: PMC4887980
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84973386986
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-5234-3871/work/86538499
dc.description.abstractComplex social behaviors lie at the heart of many of the challenges facing evolutionary biology, sociology, economics, and beyond. For evolutionary biologists the question is often how group behaviors such as collective action, or decision making that accounts for memories of past experience, can emerge and persist in an evolving system. Evolutionary game theory provides a framework for formalizing these questions and admitting them to rigorous study. Here we develop such a framework to study the evolution of sustained collective action in multi-player public-goods games, in which players have arbitrarily long memories of prior rounds of play and can react to their experience in an arbitrary way. We construct a coordinate system for memory-m strategies in iterated n-player games that permits us to characterize all cooperative strategies that resist invasion by any mutant strategy, and stabilize cooperative behavior. We show that, especially when groups are small, longer-memory strategies make cooperation easier to evolve, by increasing the number of ways to stabilize cooperation. We also explore the co-evolution of behavior and memory. We find that even when memory has a cost, longer-memory strategies often evolve, which in turn drives the evolution of cooperation, even when the benefits for cooperation are low.
dc.relation.ispartofScientific Reportsen
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
dc.subjectCooperative Behavioren
dc.subjectDecision Making/physiologyen
dc.subjectGame Theoryen
dc.subjectGames, Experimentalen
dc.subjectInterpersonal Relationsen
dc.subjectModels, Psychologicalen
dc.subjectModels, Statisticalen
dc.subjectQA Mathematicsen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleSmall groups and long memories promote cooperationen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Applied Mathematicsen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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