Definition of kin selection in English:

kin selection


  • [mass noun] Natural selection in which an apparently disadvantageous characteristic (especially altruistic behaviour) increases in the population due to increased survival of individuals genetically related to those possessing the characteristic.

    • ‘A prerequisite for individuals accruing advantages through kin selection is interaction among relatives.’
    • ‘A predominant theory of social evolution is kin selection, which notes that it is advantageous for individuals to help their relatives because it increases the number of their shared genes in future generations.’
    • ‘As one of the first models to explicitly examine immediate benefits of food sharing, we set the stage for more general or parsimonious explanations of sharing than kin selection and reciprocal altruism.’
    • ‘In this case, reciprocal altruism and kin selection could explain the patterns observed, but these issues are far beyond the scope of this article.’
    • ‘But kin selection theory explains altruistic behaviour as a clever strategy devised by selfish genes as a way of increasing their representation in the gene-pool, at the expense of other genes.’