Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-x5gtn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-30T06:20:41.294Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

3 - Cooperation and collective action in animal behaviour

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2010

Ronald Noë
Affiliation:
Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg
Jan A. R. A. M. Van Hooff
Affiliation:
Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
Peter Hammerstein
Affiliation:
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Get access

Summary

Introduction

Models of cooperation in animal behaviour frequently address issues of cheating (also called defecting; reviewed in Dugatkin 1997). In the simplest case, cheaters gain more than cooperators because they obtain the benefits of another's action without paying the costs. Cooperation has been modelled extensively using two-player game theory models (especially the Prisoner's Dilemma; Axelrod 1984). However, these two-player models fail to capture the dynamics of cooperation in larger, polyadic social settings, which often require more complicated mathematical representations (n-player games; e.g. Joshi 1987; Boyd & Richerson 1988; Dugatkin 1990).

An empirical study by Heinsohn and Packer (1995) illustrates the difficulties of modelling cooperation in large social groups. These authors provide experimental evidence for cheating in lions by simulating territorial intrusions using playbacks. In their study, the perceived benefits of territorial defence were altered by playing back different numbers of roaring neighbours. The patterns of response suggest that female lions use one of four strategies: some females always participate (unconditional cooperators), others participate when they are most needed but not at other times (conditional cooperators), and some females never participate (unconditional laggards), or actually participate less when they are most needed (conditional laggards). Heinsohn and Packer (1995) examined whether some cooperative strategies commonly used in game theory might apply to lion cooperative territoriality (i.e. Tit-for-Tat and Pavlov; Axelrod & Hamilton 1981; Nowak & Sigmund 1993). However, these attempts were unsuccessful, probably because more complicated models are needed to represent the complex behavioural interactions expected with four strategies in a polyadic setting (Heinsohn & Packer 1995).

Type
Chapter
Information
Economics in Nature
Social Dilemmas, Mate Choice and Biological Markets
, pp. 42 - 66
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2001

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×