THE-HANDICAP-PRINCIPLE

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The Handicap Principle

Author : Amotz Zahavi
ISBN : 0198026021
Genre : Science
File Size : 51.91 MB
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Ever since Darwin, animal behavior has intrigued and perplexed human observers. The elaborate mating rituals, lavish decorative displays, complex songs, calls, dances and many other forms of animal signaling raise fascinating questions. To what degree can animals communicate within their own species and even between species? What evolutionary purpose do such communications serve? Perhaps most importantly, what can animal signaling tell us about our own non-verbal forms of communication? In The Handicap Principle, Amotz and Ashivag Zahavi offer a unifying theory that brilliantly explains many previously baffling aspects of animal signaling and holds up a mirror in which ordinary human behaviors take on surprising new significance. The wide-ranging implications of the Zahavis' new theory make it arguably the most important advance in animal behavior in decades. Based on 20 years of painstaking observation, the Handicap Principle illuminates an astonishing variety of signaling behaviors in animals ranging from ants and ameba to peacocks and gazelles. Essentially, the theory asserts that for animal signals to be effective they must be reliable, and to be reliable they must impose a cost, or handicap, on the signaler. When a gazelle sights a wolf, for instance, and jumps high into the air several times before fleeing, it is signaling, in a reliable way, that it is in tip-top condition, easily able to outrun the wolf. (A human parallel occurs in children's games of tag, where faster children will often taunt their pursuer before running). By momentarily handicapping itself--expending precious time and energy in this display--the gazelle underscores the truthfulness of its signal. Such signaling, the authors suggest, serves the interests of both predator and prey, sparing each the exhaustion of a pointless chase. Similarly, the enormous cost a peacock incurs by carrying its elaborate and weighty tail-feathers, which interfere with food gathering, reliably communicates its value as a mate able to provide for its offspring. Perhaps the book's most important application of the Handicap Principle is to the evolutionary enigma of animal altruism. The authors convincingly demonstrate that when an animal acts altruistically, it handicaps itself--assumes a risk or endures a sacrifice--not primarily to benefit its kin or social group but to increase its own prestige within the group and thus signal its status as a partner or rival. Finally, the Zahavis' show how many forms of non-verbal communication among humans can also be explained by the Handicap Principle. Indeed, the authors suggest that non-verbal signals--tones of voice, facial expressions, body postures--are quite often more reliable indicators of our intentions than is language. Elegantly written, exhaustively researched, and consistently enlivened by equal measures of insight and example, The Handicap Principle illuminates virtually every kind of animal communication. It not only allows us to hear what animals are saying to each other--and to understand why they are saying it--but also to see the enormously important role non-verbal behavior plays in human communication.
Category: Science

Does The Handicap Principle Explain The Evolution Of Dimorphic Ornaments

Author :
ISBN : OCLC:1051915118
Genre :
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Highlights: We reinvestigate a new model based on the handicap hypothesis. We show the handicap hypothesis does not explain male dimorphisms. The results are due to the 'playing-the-field' assumption of the model. The generality of the 'playing-the-field' assumption is suspect. The evolutionary stability of the proposed new equilibrium is questionable.
Category:

On Our Minds

Author : Eric M. Gander
ISBN : 0801873878
Genre : Science
File Size : 74.65 MB
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There is no question more fundamental to human existence than that posed by the nature-versus-nurture debate. For much of the past century, it was widely believed that there was no essential human nature and that people could be educated or socialized to thrive in almost any imaginable culture. Today, that orthodoxy is being directly and forcefully challenged by a new science of the mind: evolutionary psychology. Like the theory of evolution itself, the implications of evolutionary psychology are provocative and unsettling. Rather than viewing the human mind as a mysterious black box or a blank slate, evolutionary psychologists see it as a physical organ that has evolved to process certain types of information in certain ways that enables us to thrive only in certain types of cultures. In On Our Minds, Eric M. Gander examines all sides of the public debate between evolutionary psychologists and their critics. Paying particularly close attention to the popular science writings of Steven Pinker, Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, and Stephen Jay Gould, Gander traces the history of the controversy, succinctly summarizes the claims and theories of the evolutionary psychologists, dissects the various arguments deployed by each side, and considers in detail the far-reaching ramifications—social, cultural, and political—of this debate. Gander's lucid and highly readable account concludes that evolutionary psychology now holds the potential to answer our oldest and most profound moral and philosophical questions, fundamentally changing our self–perception as a species. -- Boguslaw Pawlowski
Category: Science

Annual Review Of Information Science And Technology 2007

Author : Blaise Cronin
ISBN : 1573872768
Genre : Computers
File Size : 35.98 MB
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ARIST, published annually since 1966, is a landmark publication within the information science community. It surveys the landscape of information science and technology, providing an analytical, authoritative, and accessible overview of recent trends and significant developments. The range of topics varies considerably, reflecting the dynamism of the discipline and the diversity of theoretical and applied perspectives. While ARIST continues to cover key topics associated with classical information science (e.g., bibliometrics, information retrieval), editor Blaise Cronin is selectively expanding its footprint in an effort to connect information science more tightly with cognate academic and professional communities.
Category: Computers

Mathematics In Western Culture

Author : Morris Kline
ISBN : 0195345452
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 63.31 MB
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This book gives a remarkably fine account of the influences mathematics has exerted on the development of philosophy, the physical sciences, religion, and the arts in Western life.
Category: Mathematics

Game Theory Evolving

Author : Herbert Gintis
ISBN : 0691009430
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 81.55 MB
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The study of strategic action (game theory) is moving from a formal science of rational behavior to an evolutionary tool kit for studying behavior in a broad array of social settings. In this problem-oriented introduction to the field, Herbert Gintis exposes students to the techniques and applications of game theory through a wealth of sophisticated and surprisingly fun-to-solve problems involving human (and even animal) behavior. Game Theory Evolving is innovative in several ways. First, it reflects game theory's expansion into such areas as cooperation in teams, networks, the evolution and diffusion of preferences, the connection between biology and economics, artificial life simulations, and experimental economics. Second, the book--recognizing that students learn by doing and that most game theory texts are weak on problems--is organized around problems, and introduces principles through practice. Finally, the quality of the problems is simply unsurpassed, and each chapter provides a study plan for instructors interested in teaching evolutionary game theory. Reflecting the growing consensus that in many important contexts outside of anonymous markets, human behavior is not well described by classical "rationality," Gintis shows students how to apply game theory to model how people behave in ways that reflect the special nature of human sociality and individuality. This book is perfect for upper undergraduate and graduate economics courses as well as a terrific introduction for ambitious do-it-yourselfers throughout the behavioral sciences.
Category: Political Science

Homo Mysterious

Author : David P. Barash
ISBN : 9780199910793
Genre : Science
File Size : 58.33 MB
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For all that science knows about the living world, notes David P. Barash, there are even more things that we don't know, genuine evolutionary mysteries that perplex the best minds in biology. Paradoxically, many of these mysteries are very close to home, involving some of the most personal aspects of being human. Homo Mysterious examines a number of these evolutionary mysteries, exploring things that we don't yet know about ourselves, laying out the best current hypotheses, and pointing toward insights that scientists are just beginning to glimpse. Why do women experience orgasm? Why do men have a shorter lifespan than women? Why does homosexuality exist? Why does religion exist in virtually every culture? Why do we have a fondness for the arts? Why do we have such large brains? And why does consciousness exist? Readers are plunged into an ocean of unknowns--the blank spots on the human evolutionary map, the terra incognita of our own species--and are introduced to the major hypotheses that currently occupy scientists who are attempting to unravel each puzzle (including some solutions proposed here for the first time). Throughout the book, readers are invited to share the thrill of science at its cutting edge, a place where we know what we don't know, and, moreover, where we know enough to come up with some compelling and seductive explanations. Homo Mysterious is a guide to creative thought and future explorations, based on the best, most current thinking by evolutionary scientists. It captures the allure of the "not-yet-known" for those interested in stretching their scientific imaginations.
Category: Science

Animal Signals

Author : John Maynard Smith
ISBN : 0198526857
Genre : Nature
File Size : 76.34 MB
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Why are animal signals reliable? This is the central problem for evolutionary biologists interested in signals. Of course, not all signals are reliable; but most are, otherwise receivers of signals would ignore them. A number of theoretical answers have been proposed and empirical studies made, but there still remains a considerable amount of confusion. The authors, one a theoretician the other a fieldworker, introduce a sense of order to this chaos. A significant cause of confusion has been the tendency for different researchers to use either the same term with different meanings, or different terms with the same meaning. The authors attempt to clarify these differences. A second cause of confusion has arisen because many biologists continue to assume that there is only one correct explanation for signal reliability. The authors argue that the reliability of signals is maintained in several ways, relevant in different circumstances, and that biologists must learn to distinguish between them. In this book they explain the different theories, give examples of signalling systems to which one or another theory applies, and point to the many areas where further work, both theoretical and empirical, is required.
Category: Nature

Evolution And Human Behavior

Author : John Cartwright
ISBN : 0262531704
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 56.3 MB
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The book covers fundamental issues such as the origins and function of sexual reproduction, mating behavior, human mate choice, patterns of violence in families, altruistic behavior, the evolution of brain size and the origins of language, the modular mind, and the relationship between genes and culture.
Category: Psychology

Sensory Ecology Behaviour And Evolution

Author : Martin Stevens
ISBN : 9780191651472
Genre : Science
File Size : 65.68 MB
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Throughout their lives animals must complete many tasks, including finding food, avoiding predators, attracting mates, and navigating through a complex and dynamic environment. Consequently, they have evolved a staggering array of sensory organs that are fundamental to survival and reproduction and shape much of their evolution and behaviour. Sensory ecology deals with how animals acquire, process, and use information in their lives, and the sensory systems involved. It investigates the type of information that is gathered by animals, how it is used in a range of behaviours, and the evolution of such traits. It deals with both mechanistic questions (e.g. how sensory receptors capture information from the environment, and how the physical attributes of the environment affect information transmission) and functional questions (e.g. the adaptive significance of the information used by the animal to make a decision). Recent research has dealt more explicitly with how sensory systems are involved with and even drive evolutionary change, including the formation of new species. Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution provides a broad introduction to sensory ecology across a wide range of taxonomic groups, covering all the various sensory modalities (e.g. sound, visual, chemical, magnetic, and electric) relating to diverse areas spanning anti-predator strategies, foraging, mate choice, navigation and more, with the aim being to illustrate key principles and differences. This accessible textbook is suitable for senior undergraduates, graduate students, and professional academics taking courses or conducting research in sensory ecology/biology, neuroethology, behavioural and evolutionary ecology, communication, and signalling. It will also be of relevance and use to psychologists interested in sensory information and behaviour.
Category: Science