Kevin J. S. Zollman

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The handicap principle is one of the most influential ideas in evolutionary biology. It asserts that when there is conflict of interest in a signaling interaction signals must be costly in order to be reliable. While in evolutionary biology it is a common practice to distinguish between indexes and fakable signals, we argue this dichotomy is an artifact of(More)
Transfer of information between senders and receivers, of one kind or another, is essential to all life. David Lewis introduced a game theoretic model of the simplest case, where one sender and one receiver have pure common interest. How hard or easy is it for evolution to achieve information transfer in Lewis signaling?. The answers involve surprising(More)
Lewis signaling games illustrate how language might evolve from random behavior. The probability of evolving an optimal signaling language is, in part, a function of what learning strategy the agents use. Here we investigate three learning strategies, each of which allows agents to forget old experience. In each case, we find that forgetting increases the(More)
We study the handicap principle in terms of the Sir Philip Sidney game. The handicap principle asserts that cost is required to allow for honest signalling in the face of conflicts of interest. We show that the significance of the handicap principle can be challenged from two new directions. Firstly, both the costly signalling equilibrium and certain states(More)
Costly signalling theory has become a common explanation for honest communication when interests conflict. In this paper, we provide an alternative explanation for partially honest communication that does not require significant signal costs. We show that this alternative is at least as plausible as traditional costly signalling, and we suggest a number of(More)
The "fair benefits" approach to international research is designed to produce results that all can agree are fair without taking a stand on divisive questions of justice. But its appealing veneer of collaboration masks ambiguities at both a conceptual and an operational level. An attempt to put it into practice would look a lot like an auction, leaving(More)
While the popular image of scientists portrays them as objective, dispassionate observers of nature, actual scientists rarely are. It is not really known to what extent these individual departures from the scientific ideal effects the reliability of the scientific community. This paper suggests a number of concrete projects which help to determine this(More)