Evolutionary approach and rational choice approach in sociology

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In the field of game theoretical research in sociology, there are two different approaches, rational choice approach and evolutionary approach. Rational choice approach postulates actors' high caluculas ability and they are assumed to select Nash equilibria with consideration before the game. On the other hand, in evolutionary approach, actors only have bounded rationality and they select better strategy after the game in repeated games. These two approaches have been believed to be methodologically different. But recent advance in evolutionary game theory combines these two approaches. It is clarified that Stable States in an evolutionary game correspond to Nash equilibria in one-shot game, so actors with bounded rationality can select Nash equilibria. These two approach should be called "rational choice theory in the wide sense" and they can go together fruitfully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-148
Number of pages3
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Dec 1


  • Evolution
  • Game theory
  • Nash equilibrium
  • Rational choice
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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