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Game theory is a branch of mathematics dealing with how rational and interdependent actors make decisions in situations in which their interests conflict or converge. Although the theory is normative, describing how rational actors behave, its concepts and methods have proved to be useful in all the social sciences. Recently there has been great interest in evolutionary game theory, which describes how apparently rational action can evolve through natural selection from the actions of less-than-rational actors.

Game theory is based on the assumption that interdependent actors make independent decisions based on their own interests. The scope of the approach can be widened by assuming that individuals care about the interests of others but at a cost; such a theory will be more complex and difficult to ...

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