Evolutionary biology: Help and you shall be helped Evolutionary biology: Help and you shall be helped


  author         = {Regis Ferriere},
  title          = {Evolutionary biology: Help and you shall be helped},
  year           = {1998},
  review-dates   = {2004-07-13},
  value          = {fa},
  key-cites      = {nowak-1998a, nowak-1998b},
  month          = {Jun},
  hardcopy       = {yes},
  url            = {http://www.gametheory.net/News/Items/027.html},
  key            = {ferriere-1998a}


This article on the web summarizes Nowak and Sigmund.

quotes: "For such indirect reciprocity to work, individuals must assess others in their group by watching their games from the sidelines and assigning 'image scores' to them."

"The discriminator strategy has an antecedent -- the 'observer tit for tat' (OTFT), developed in the context of an iterated prisoner's dilemma. The OTFT strategy prescribes defection in the first round if the opponent was seen defecting in his last interaction, and thereafter the standard tit for tat. OTFT can hold its own against defectors when the likelihood of repeated interactions decreases. This suggests that a gradual transition from direct to indirect reciprocation may occur as partnerships become looser."

References Richard Alexander as: "Richard Alexander pioneered the concept of indirect reciprocity to deal with moral systems in human societies."

Key Factors

Relations to Other Work: Richard Alexander, Nowak and Sigmund 1998 (nowak-1998anowak-1998b)


The work is not original -- it's a review.

No contribution other than summarization.

The quality of organization is excellent.

Quality of writing is excellent.