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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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Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Cognition

Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Cognition

Chapter:
(p.345) 20 Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Cognition
Source:
Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making
Author(s):

Thomas Bugnyar

Robert Boyd

Benjamin Bossan

Simon Gächter

Thomas Griffiths

Peter Hammerstein

Keith Jensen

Thomas Mussweiler

Rosemarie Nagel

Felix Warneken

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.003.0020

Game theory provides a useful framework for conceptualizing social decisions in which one person’s behavior affects outcomes that matter to other individuals. Game theory can also help us understand the computational problems inherent in social decision making. To explain human adaptive success, culture plays an important role. Models from population biology are used to explain (a) culture as a dynamic process, (b) the role of psychological mechanisms in enabling cumulative cultural evolution, and (c) teaching as an evolved phenomenon. How game theoretic approaches can be integrated with algorithmic-level processes remains, however, to be resolved. Difficulties lie in how cognitive and social psychologists approach the study of cognition as well as in how existing data are used to interpret human (and nonhuman) decision making.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, decision making social cognition, game theory, cooperation, cross-species comparisons, culture, cultural learning, teaching

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