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Methodology as ideology: mathematical modeling of trench warfare

  • Andrew Gelman
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    The Evolution of Cooperation, by Axelrod (1984), is a highly influential study that identifies the benefits of cooperative strategies in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. We argue that the most extensive historical analysis in the book, a study of cooperative behavior in First World War trenches, is in error. Contrary to Axelrod’s claims, there soldiers in the Western Front were not generally in a prisoner’s dilemma (iterated or otherwise), and their cooperative behavior can be explained much more parsimoniously as immediately reducing their risks. We discuss the political implications of this misapplication of game theory.

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    File URL: http://www.francoangeli.it/riviste/Scheda_Riviste.asp?IDArticolo=33851&Tipo=ArticoloPDF
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    Article provided by Associazione Rossi Doria in its journal QA.

    Volume (Year): (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0078
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