Situation Approach to Cooperation

  • Joseph Greenberg
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 155)


The Theory of Social Situations(TOSS) is an integrative approach to the study of formal models in social and behavioral sciences. TOSS unifies the representation of “cooperative” and “non-cooperative” social environments, allowing for diverse coalitional interactions. It does so using the notion of a (social) “situation”. TOSS disassociates the solution concept from the representation of social environments. The unified solution concept in TOSS — “stable standard of behavior” — employs stability as the sole criterion. One of the important merits of TOSS is that by representing a social environment as a situation, it specifies the exact negotiation process and the way in which players and coalitions use the set of outcomes (actions, alternatives) available to them. Moreover, the flexibility of TOSS enables the analysis of social environments that cannot be studied within the classical paradigm of game theory. This lecture is divided into three parts: (1) Motivation for the notion of a social situation, (2) Formal definitions of a situation and of a stable standard of behavior, and (3) Some applications of TOSS to cooperation.1


Nash Equilibrium Social Environment Cooperative Game Negotiation Process Solution Concept 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Greenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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