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We propose an explanation of cooperation among unrelated members of a social group in which cooperation evolves because it constitutes an honest signal of the member's quality as a mate, coalition partner or competitor, and therefore results in advantageous alliances for those signaling in this manner. Our model is framed as a multi-player public goods game(More)
Signaling theory provides an opportunity to integrate an interactive theory of symbolic communication and social benefit with materialist theories of individual strategic action and adaptation. This article examines the potential explanatory value of signal-ing theory for a variety of anthropological topics, focusing on three social arenas in which(More)
Foragers who do not practice food storage might adapt to fluctuating food supplies by sharing surplus resources in times of plenty with the expectation of receiving in times of shortfall. In this paper, we derive a number of predictions from this perspective, which we term the risk reduction reciprocity (RRR) model, and test these with ethnographic data on(More)
Some have championed the view that small-scale societies are conservers or even creators of biodiversity. Others have argued that human populations have always modified their environments, often in ways that enhance short-term gains at the expense of environmental stability and biodiversity conservation. Recent ethnographic studies as well as theory from(More)
Hunting, particularly when it involves large game that is extensively shared, has been suggested to serve as a form of costly signaling by hunters, serving to attract mates and allies or to deter competitors. Empirical evidence presented elsewhere on turtle hunting practiced by Meriam people of Torres Strait, Australia, supports several key predictions of(More)
Small-scale human societies range from foraging bands with a strong egalitarian ethos to more economically stratified agrarian and pastoral societies. We explain this variation in inequality using a dynamic model in which a population's long-run steady-state level of inequality depends on the extent to which its most important forms of wealth are(More)
Leadership is an active area of research in both the biological and social sciences. This review provides a transdisciplinary synthesis of biological and social-science views of leadership from an evolutionary perspective, and examines patterns of leadership in a set of small-scale human and non-human mammalian societies. We review empirical and theoretical(More)
All social species face various " collective action problems " (CAPs) or " social dilemmas, " meaning problems in achieving cooperating when the best move from a selfish point of view yields an inferior collective outcome. Compared to most other species, humans are very good at solving these challenges, suggesting that something rather peculiar about human(More)
Social identity theory (SIT) was used to investigate the effects of social categorization on adolescents' intergroup behaviour. One hundred and forty-nine male adolescents aged 14-15 years made comparisons between an ingroup and an outgroup along a series of dimensions. Participants displayed consistent ingroup-favouring behaviour in their ratings: the(More)