PS3006 Cooperation, Conflict and Social Dilemmas (2012/13)
Professor Andrew ColmanTimetable
Thursdays, 14.00-16.00, weeks 2-10, Physics LT C
(first lecture 11 October 2012)
To provide an introduction to the fundamental ideas behind two-person and multi-person game theory and interactive decision making and to explore their relevance to social problems and our understanding of cooperation and altruism.
To analyse the strategic properties of a few key games that are of special importance for understanding cooperation and competition; to review the literature on experimental games and social dilemmas; and to study the contributions of evolutionary games to research into the evolution of social behaviour.Demonstrating the relevance of knowledge of ...
2. Cooperation and competition in dyads
3. Ultimatum and Dictator games
4. Centipede games, Beauty Contest games, and backward induction
5. Multi-player social dilemmas and Public Goods games
6. Evolution of cooperation and altruism
7. Computational studies of social evolution
Lectures (16 hours) and private study
Two-hour written examination
Camerer, C. F. (2003). Behavioral game theory: Experiments in strategic interaction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Colman, A. M. (1995). Game theory and its applications in the social and biological sciences (2nd ed.). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Thaler, R. H. (1992). The winner’s curse: Paradoxes and anomalies of economic life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
By the end of the module:
(a) Students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental concepts of game theory and techniques of research in experimental games.
(b) They should be able to desribe and explain research into cooperation and competition in dyads, using the Prisoner's Dilemma and related static games, and sequential-choice games such as the Ultimatum and Centipede games, and to review related experimental research critically.
(c) They should be able to explain the fundamental ideas behind multi-player social dilemmas and their relevance to social problems, and to write critical reviews of related experimental research.
(d) They should be able to explain the essential ideas behind evolutionary game theory and to demonstrate familiarity with computational and simulation research into the evolution of social behaviour.
(e) They should be aware of current controversies in game theory and of unresolved problems in the study of strategic interaction.
The reading list, handouts, PowerPoint slides, and useful web links are in the Course Documents area of the PS3006 Blackboard site