Cooperation should not be assumed

JM McNamara, K Binmore, AI Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Evolutionary game theory provides a framework for explaining social interactions, including those between males and females. In a recent article, Roughgarden et al. discuss a new approach to sexual selection based on cooperative game theory and argue that cooperation rather than competition is fundamental in interactions between the sexes. However, compelling reasons for adopting this approach are not given and the authors do not adopt it consistently. We argue that noncooperative game theory provides an adequate basis for understanding sexual selection, but that further work is needed to produce realistic models. We agree with Roughgarden and colleagues that bargaining is an important aspect of social interactions, but this is not a novel claim. Bargaining does not require the assumption of cooperation and does not necessarily lead to it.
Translated title of the contributionCooperation should not be assumed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476 - 478
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume21 (9)
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Elsevier Science London
Other identifier: IDS number 085WA


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