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Game theory models something very relevant to psychologists (in particular social psychologists): conflict and cooperation between decision-makers. Unfortunately, classical game theory demands that these decision makers are rational (in a mathematically precise sense). This definition of rationality is challenged empirically (by work like Tversky & Shafir) and on a theoretical level (by complexity results on finding or approximating Nash equilibria: a PPAD-complete problem).

Economists and mathematicians (and others) have taken two approaches to overcome this problem. The first is top-down approach of limiting the agent's abilities from an all-powerful rational agent down; this is the bounded rationality approach. The other is the bottom-up approach of evolutionary game theory: start with the simplest agents (that can't even make decisions) and have natural selection, imitation, or another simple dynamic process evolve the population over time. This seems to dove-tail nicely with the biogenic approach to cognition.

Are there examples of the tools of evolutionary game theory being used in social psychology or other sub-disciplines of the cognitive sciences? Is there a survey (or book) on EGT's impact on the cognitive sciences?


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