The long-term viability of team reasoning

Journal of Economic Methodology 22 (4):462-478 (2015)
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Team reasoning gives a simple, coherent, and rational explanation for human cooperative behavior. This paper investigates the robustness of team reasoning as an explanation for cooperative behavior, by assessing its long-run viability. We consider an evolutionary game theoretic model in which the population consists of team reasoners and ‘conventional’ individual reasoners. We find that changes in the ludic environment can affect evolutionary outcomes, and that in many circumstances, team reasoning may thrive, even under conditions that, at first glance, may seem unfavorable. We also pursue several extensions that augment the basic account, and conclude that team reasoning is an evolutionarily viable mechanism with the potential to explain behavior in a range of human interactions

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S. M. Amadae
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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