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Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making$
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Peter Hammerstein and Jeffrey R. Stevens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262018081

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.001.0001

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Six Reasons for Invoking Evolution in Decision Theory

Six Reasons for Invoking Evolution in Decision Theory

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Six Reasons for Invoking Evolution in Decision Theory
Source:
Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making
Author(s):

Peter Hammerstein

Jeffrey R. Stevens

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.003.0001

How do organisms make decisions? The study of games and decisions has long been guided by a philosophical discourse on concepts of rationality and their implications. This discourse has led to a large body of mathematical work and kept generations of researchers busy, but few serious attempts have been made to understand decision making in the real world. Over the last decades, however, decision theory has moved toward the sciences and developed its “taste for the facts.” Research is now guided by experimental economics, cognitive psychology, behavioral biology, and—most recently—neuroscience. Despite the increasingly empirical leanings of decision science, the explanatory power of evolutionary theory has been neglected. This Strüngmann Forum was convened to rectify this oversight, with the goal of initiating an alternative to the existing axiom-based decision theory by developing a theory of decision making founded on evolutionary principles.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, decision theory, cooperation, evolution, social cognition, emotions, intention attribution, robustness

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