The Survival Game: How Game Theory Explains the Biology of Cooperation and Competition

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Macmillan, Sep 1, 2004 - Science - 320 pages
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From a zoologist and psychologist, an astonishing look at the biological and strategic roots of human decisions

Humans, like bacteria, woodchucks, chimpanzees, and other animals, compete or cooperate in order to get food, shelter, territory, and other resources to survive. But how do they decide whether to muscle out or team up with the competition?

In The Survival Game, David P. Barash synthesizes the newest ideas from psychology, economics, and biology to explore and explain the roots of human strategy. Drawing on game theory-the study of how individuals make decisions-he explores the give-and-take of spouses in determining an evening's plans, the behavior of investors in a market bubble, and the maneuvers of generals on a battlefield alongside the mating and fighting strategies of "less rational" animals. Ultimately, Barash's lively and clear examples shed light on what makes our decisions human, and what we can glean from game theory and the natural world as we negotiate and compete every day.


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Title Page
Sartres Dictum
Isnt It All Too Machiavellian?
What Itll Tell Us and What It Wont
Duels Truels and Rules
Prisoners Dilemma and the Problem
Personal Gain Versus Public
Games of Chicken
Animal Antics
Thoughts from the Underground

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About the author (2004)

A professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle, zoologist David P. Barash is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Myth of Monogamy and The Mammal in the Mirror. He lives in Redmond, Washington.

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