:"This page is about spite in the context of fair division, a branch of theoretical economics. The word is also used in psychology and in the study of social evolution. For articles with similar names, see Spite (disambiguation)."

In fair division problems, spite is a phenomenon that occurs when a player's value of an allocation decreases when one or more other players' valuation increases. Thus, other things being equal, a player exhibiting spite will prefer an allocation in which other players receive less than more (if the good is desirable).

In this language, spite is difficult to analyze because one has to assess two sets of preferences. For example, in the divide and choose method, a spiteful player would have to make a trade-off between depriving his opponent of cake, and getting more himself.

Within the field of social evolution, spite is used to describe those social behaviors that have a negative impact on both the actor and recipient(s). Spite can be favoured by kin selection when: (a) it leads to an indirect benefit to some third party that is sufficiently related to the actor (Wilsonian spite); or (b) when it is directed primarily at negatively-related individuals (Hamiltonian spite). Negative relatedness occurs when two individuals are less related than average.

In game theory

The iterated prisoner's dilemma provides an example where players may "punish" each other for failing to cooperate in previous rounds. For example, the simple "tit for tat" strategy has been shown to be effective in round-robin tournaments of iterated prisoner's dilemma.

In Industrial Relations

There is always difficulty in fairly dividing the proceeds of a business between the business owners and the employees.

When a trade union decides to call a strike, both employer and the union members lose money (and may damage the national economy). The unionists hope that the employer will give in to their demands before such losses have destroyed the business.

In the reverse direction, an employer may terminate the employment of certain productive workers who are agitating for higher wages or organising a trade union. Losing productive workers is a setback to both the business and the employees but this can serve as an example to others and thus maximise employer power.

ee also

* Appeal to spite
* Hamilton's rule


*Foster, K.R., Wenseleers, T. & Ratnieks, F.L.W. (2001) Spite: Hamilton's unproven theory. "Annales Zoologici Fennici", p. 38,229-238. [http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~kfoster/FosteretalAnZooFen2001.pdf]
*Gardner, A. & West, S.A. (2006) Spite. "Current Biology", p. 16,R662-R664. [http://westgroup.icapb.ed.ac.uk/pdf/Gardner&West_06_CB.pdf]

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  • Spite — Spite, n. [Abbreviated fr. despite.] 1. Ill will or hatred toward another, accompanied with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart; petty malice; grudge; rancor; despite. Pope. [1913 Webster] This is the deadly spite that angers. Shak.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spite of — Spite Spite, n. [Abbreviated fr. despite.] 1. Ill will or hatred toward another, accompanied with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart; petty malice; grudge; rancor; despite. Pope. [1913 Webster] This is the deadly spite that angers.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spite — ► NOUN ▪ a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend. ► VERB ▪ deliberately hurt, annoy, or offend. ● in spite of Cf. ↑in spite of ● in spite of oneself Cf. ↑in spite of oneself …   English terms dictionary

  • Spite — Spite, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spited}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spiting}.] 1. To be angry at; to hate. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The Danes, then . . . pagans, spited places of religion. Fuller. [1913 Webster] 2. To treat maliciously; to try to injure or thwart …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spite — [spīt] n. [ME, aphetic < despite: see DESPITE] 1. a) a mean or evil feeling toward another, characterized by the inclination to hurt, humiliate, annoy, frustrate, etc.; ill will; malice b) an instance of this; a grudge 2. Obs. something… …   English World dictionary

  • spite — (n.) c.1300, shortened form of despit malice (see DESPITE (Cf. despite)). Corresponding to M.Du. spijt, M.L.G. spyt, M.Swed. spit. Commonly spelled spight c.1575 1700. The verb is attested from c.1400. Phrase in spite of is recorded from c.1400 …   Etymology dictionary

  • spite — [n] hateful feeling animosity, antipathy, bad blood*, contempt, despite, enmity, gall, grudge, harsh feeling, hate, hatred, ill will, malevolence, malice, maliciousness, malignity, peeve, pique, rancor, resentment, revenge, spitefulness, spleen,… …   New thesaurus

  • spite — I noun acrimoniousness, acrimony, animosity, animus, antagonism, bitterness, cattiness, contempt, defiance, despite, enmity, gall, grudge, harsh feeling, hate, hatred, hostility, ill feeling, ill nature, ill will, inimicality, intolerance, livor …   Law dictionary

  • Spite — Le nom est originaire de Moselle. On trouve également en Lorraine la variante Spit. Sens incertain. Peut être une autre forme de Spitz (voir ce nom) …   Noms de famille

  • spite — n despite, malignity, malignancy, spleen, grudge, *malice, ill will, malevolence Analogous words: rancor, animus, antipathy (see ENMITY): vindictiveness, revengefulness or revenge, vengefulness or ven geance (see corresponding adjectives at… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • spite — spite1 W3 [spaıt] n [U] [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: despite (noun) (13 20 centuries); DESPITE] 1.) in spite of sth without being affected or prevented by something = ↑despite ▪ We went out in spite of the rain. ▪ Kelly loved her husband in spite of …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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