Problem of Cheating
Cheating is a strategy or behavior that exploits social agreements of cooperation; from a genetic fitness perspective, cheating benefits the cheat while causing detriment to the cooperator.
Cheats or free-riders are organisms that take advantage of the cooperative social behaviors of other organisms either within or outside of their species in order to obtain resources and/or mating opportunities while incurring less cost than would normally be associated with their acquisition. Ghoul et al. (2014, p. 319) define cheating as “(i) a trait that is beneficial to a cheat and costly to a cooperator in terms of inclusive fitness (ii) when these benefits and costs arise from the actor directing a cooperative behavior toward the cheat, rather than the intended recipient.” However, the term “cheat” has been used somewhat inconsistently throughout the evolutionary and ecological literature leading some researchers to...
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