It is generally thought that cognition evolved to help us navigate complex environments. Social interactions make up one part of a complex environment, and some have argued that social settings are crucial to the evolution of cognition. This article uses the methods of evolutionary game theory to investigate the effect of social interaction on the evolution of cognition broadly construed as strategic learning or plasticity. I delineate the conditions under which social interaction alone, apart from any additional external environmental variation, can provide the selective pressure necessary for the initial evolution of learning. Furthermore, it is argued that in the context of social interactions we should not expect traditional learners that ‘best-respond’ to dominate the population. Consequently, it may be important to consider non-traditional learners when modeling social evolution. 1 Introduction2 The Model3 Adapting to the Population3.1 Learning an equlibrium4 Adapting to Individuals4.1 Learning the best response and non-traditional learners5 Conclusion.
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