handicap principle

(redirected from Costly signaling theory)

handicap principle

A hypothesis that the extravagance of an animal’s mating displays proves individual strength, because animals with handicaps do not have the strength for mating dominance.

Example
Huge antlers for deer stags.

The cost or handicap is a virtual guarantee of the honesty of the display; if there were no cost to the display—e.g., proof of the stag’s superiority by fighting other males—there would be rampant cheating, and observers (other stags) would learn to ignore the “false” displays. Because antlers are costly, it would not be worthwhile for a weaker stag to produce large antlers and try to “bluff” his way into mating superiority.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
To answer this question, this paper looks at two influential evolutionary accounts of ritual, the hazard-precaution model, and costly signaling theory. It examines whether Cuneo's account of ritual knowledge as knowing to engage God can be maintained in the light of these evolutionary accounts.
In costly signaling theory (Miller, 2000), it is suggested that individuals often waste their resources to impress others.
As suggested by costly signaling theory (Miller, 2000), wasting resources can be a signal to others of possessing ample resources, which is consistent with the findings we obtained in this study.
Costly signaling theory is also found in evolutionary biology.
signaling, the basis of costly signaling theory (CST).
Chapter 8 offers a more compelling application of evolutionary biology, in which "costly signaling theory" is used to explain the role of megalithic constructions.
Cooperation and commune longevity: A test of the costly signaling theory of religion.
In the field of human behavioral ecology, Costly Signaling Theory (CST) is often employed to explain the existence of seemingly "wasteful" behaviors such as hunting and distributing game widely among non-kin.
Two central implications of the costly signaling theory of reassurance are as follows.
Rule c, for instance, states that "unilateral initiatives must be graduated in risk according to the degree of reciprocation obtained from opponents," which seems compatible with, though not identical to, the costly signaling theory that will be developed here.
In costly signaling theory (Grafen, 1990; Zahavi, 1975) and in research based on this theory (e.g., Bird & Smith, 2005; McAndrew, 2002) it is suggested that men often engage in costly behaviors, that is, they spend a lot of their financial resources, energy, and/or time conveying their positive qualities as being desirable as a mate to a person of the opposite sex.
In costly signaling theory it is posited that human helping behavior functions as a costly signal to others: costly because of the associated time, money, or sacrifice spent in helping another person; and as a signal of elevated status based on resource possession, ability, or cooperative intent (Bereczkei et al., 2010; Van Vugt & Hardy, 2010).