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Lecture 11

PSYC 3100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Frequency-Dependent Selection, Snowdrift, Energy Policy And Conservation Act

Course Code
PSYC 3100
Pat Barclay

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
Evolutionary Psychology- Non-Kin Cooperation 3- Lecture 11
Direct Benefits for contributing
There are direct benefits for providing contributions
Volunteer’s Dilemma everyone prefers that someone else do the work and provide
the public good and would be willing to do it themselves if no one else did
o It’s better to be suckered than not to have anything in the end
Free-rider cooperating that same person is no one provides the goods
Snowdrift game
o Cars are stuck behind a snowdrift and you just want to get home
o Benefit of getting home 5
o Cost of shoveling 4
o If you know that nobody is going to do the work, it’s better to do it yourself
Hypothetical scenario
o Ten members of a group
o Each member can hunt or scrounge
o Hunting increases the group’s catch by 2000 food units
o Hunting has time/effort costs, so hunters get 75% of what scroungers get
o Hunting is like a volunteer’s dilemma
o Regardless of how many hunters are in the group, scroungers are doing good
because they are still getting food
Frequency dependent selection when the payoff for a strategy depends on its
frequency in the population
o Two forms…
Positive more common strategies do better (tit-for-tat)
Negative rarer strategies do better (drive on the right or drive on the
Bystander effect example of a volunteer’s dilemma
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Vested Interests
The benefits of becoming irreplaceable
Externality positive or negative consequences of an actively experienced by a third
Examples of vested interests
o Water a tree and making it grow tree grows tree gives us shade
Receiving food when sick
o Ache in Paraguay
o People who gave food to others were more likely to receive food when
o These results are consistent with both being irreplaceable (vested interest) and
with indirect reciprocity
You have vested interest in friends and family because they are hard to replace, and this
goes beyond reciprocity
Costly signaling
When one’s actions convey useful information to audiences
Costly signaling is the idea that when one individual does something to the audience
Gazelles when they spot a predator they do something called stotting
o This behavior is a behavior to a lion
o This signal says “look how vigorous I am, you can’t catch me so don’t try”
o If the lion could know which Gazelle it could and can’t catch that would be useful
to know
o There is a need to signal information but there is conflict between two parties
Two people finishing a race at the same time
o A guy with a metal ball around his ankle or someone without one?
o Who is stronger?
Someone climbing a mountain without a rope
o What can you infer about this guy?
o He is really good, to attempt something like that
o Only someone who really has the goods can make a cost like this
What do you need for costly signaling?
o Need to convey information honestly
o Some conflict of interest between the signaler and receiver
They prefer different outcomes (lion and gazelle)
o Some common interests
How do you guarantee that the signal is honest? How will you know is the observer
believes it?
o The high costs of dishonestly, dishonest signaler
o Costs are high enough so it’s not worth it for dishonest signaler
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