Open Access

Chimpanzee choice rates in competitive games match equilibrium game theory predictions.

Christopher F Martin, Rahul Bhui, Peter Bossaer, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Colin Camerer
DOI: 10.1038/srep05182
Read full text
caption

Abstract

The capacity for strategic thinking about the payoff-relevant actions of conspecifics is not well understood across species. We use game theory to make predictions about choices and temporal dynamics in three abstract competitive situations with chimpanzee participants. Frequencies of chimpanzee choices are extremely close to equilibrium (accurate-guessing) predictions, and shift as payoffs change, just as equilibrium theory predicts. The chimpanzee choices are also closer to the equilibrium prediction, and more responsive to past history and payoff changes, than two samples of human choices from experiments in which humans were also initially uninformed about opponent payoffs and could not communicate verbally. The results are consistent with a tentative interpretation of game theory as explaining evolved behavior, with the additional hypothesis that chimpanzees may retain or practice a specialized capacity to adjust strategy choice during competition to perform at least as well as, or better than, humans have.

Article Information
Martin CF , Bhui R, Bossaer P, Matsuzawa T, Camerer C(2014)Chimpanzee choice rates in competitive games match equilibrium game theory predictions. Scientific Reports, 4: 5182. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep05182
Click here to download the PDF Please refer to the terms of use before downloading.