Elementary+Social+Theory - R. Trivers Spring 2011...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
R. Trivers Spring 2011 Elementary Social Theory Social interactions involve at least two individuals. Scratching yourself is not usually a social act, per se. The simplest social theory involves two individuals. Call them initially actor and recipient or actor and acted-upon. Define interactions in terms of their effects on the reproductive success of the two actors. Call them benefits (Bs) and costs (Cs). Then we have four kinds of interaction: Actor Recipient altruistic C B selfish B C cooperative B 1 B 2 spiteful C 1 C 2 (where B 1 and C 1 indicate the benefit or cost to the actor and B 2 and C 2 the same for the recipient). Selfish and cooperative behavior are readily selected for since they benefit the actor and spite seems counter-selected for both actor and recipient (but see below). It is altruistic behavior that creates a problem for evolutionary theory because it appears only to benefit the recipient, so that the actor’s altruistic genes become less frequent over time. Yet altruistic behavior is well known in nature, including alarm calls and care of the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 2

Elementary+Social+Theory - R. Trivers Spring 2011...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online