Overlapping generations can promote altruistic behavior

Evolution. 2000 Aug;54(4):1135-41. doi: 10.1111/j.0014-3820.2000.tb00549.x.


We use an inclusive fitness model to study the evolution of altruism in a patch-structured population in which there is positive probability of breeder survival from one generation to the next. We find first that breeder survival promotes altruism and second that there is a marked difference between benefits of fecundity and benefits of survival. Under the first altruism is more strongly favored, and under the second altruism is less strongly favored than in a randomly mixing population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Altruism*
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Fertility
  • Game Theory
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Probability
  • Social Behavior*
  • Survival