Carnegie Mellon University
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An Evolutionary Comparison of the Handicap Principle and Hybrid Equilibrium Theories of Signaling.

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Patrick Kane, Kevin ZollmanKevin Zollman

The handicap principle has come under significant challenge both from empirical studies and from theoretical work. As a result, a number of alternative explanations for honest signaling have been proposed. This paper compares the evolutionary plausibility of one such alternative, the "hybrid equilibrium," to the handicap principle. We utilize computer simulations to compare these two theories as they are instantiated in Maynard Smith's Sir Philip Sidney game. We conclude that, when both types of communication are possible, evolution is unlikely to lead to handicap signaling and is far more likely to result in the partially honest signaling predicted by hybrid equilibrium theory.


Publisher Statement

© 2015 Kane, Zollman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited



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