Any hereditary pattern of behaviour that is fixed in the sense that, in a population in which most individuals adopt it, no alternative behaviour pattern has a greater Darwinian fitness, and therefore none is favoured over it by natural selection. The concept was introduced in 1973 by the English biologist John Maynard Smith (1920–2004) and the US physicist and chemist George R. Price (1922–75). Often mistakenly written evolutionary stable strategy. See also Hawk-Dove game, Hawk-Dove-Retaliator game, strategy (2). ESS abbrev.
Subjects: Psychology — Zoology and Animal Sciences.