THE EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS OF SPITE IN FINITE POPULATIONS
Version of Record online: 16 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 67, Issue 3, pages 698–707, March 2013
How to Cite
Smead, R. and Forber, P. (2013), THE EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS OF SPITE IN FINITE POPULATIONS. Evolution, 67: 698–707. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01831.x
- Issue online: 5 MAR 2013
- Version of Record online: 16 NOV 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 22 OCT 2012 08:49AM EST
- Received June 7, 2012 Accepted November 29, 2012
- evolutionary game theory;
- Hamilton’s rule;
- population dynamics;
Spite, the shady relative of altruism, involves paying a fitness cost to inflict a cost on some recipient. Here, we investigate a density dependent dynamic model for the evolution of spite in populations of changing size. We extend the model by introducing a dynamic carrying capacity. Our analysis shows that it is possible for unconditionally spiteful behavior to evolve without population structure in any finite population. In some circumstances spiteful behavior can contribute to its own stability by limiting population growth. We use the model to show that there are differences between spite and altruism, and to refine Hamilton’s original argument about the insignificance of spite in the wild. We also discuss the importance of fixing the measure of fitness to classify behaviors as selfish or spiteful.