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Content, cost, and context: a framework for understanding human signaling systems

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Content, cost, and context : a framework for understanding human signaling systems. / Barker, Jessica L.; Power, Eleanor A.; Heap, Stephen; Puurtinen, Mikael; Sosis, Richard.

In: Evolutionary Anthropology, Vol. 28, No. 2, 01.03.2019, p. 86-99.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Barker, JL, Power, EA, Heap, S, Puurtinen, M & Sosis, R 2019, 'Content, cost, and context: a framework for understanding human signaling systems', Evolutionary Anthropology, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 86-99. https://doi.org/10.1002/evan.21768

APA

Barker, J. L., Power, E. A., Heap, S., Puurtinen, M., & Sosis, R. (2019). Content, cost, and context: a framework for understanding human signaling systems. Evolutionary Anthropology, 28(2), 86-99. https://doi.org/10.1002/evan.21768

CBE

Barker JL, Power EA, Heap S, Puurtinen M, Sosis R. 2019. Content, cost, and context: a framework for understanding human signaling systems. Evolutionary Anthropology. 28(2):86-99. https://doi.org/10.1002/evan.21768

MLA

Vancouver

Barker JL, Power EA, Heap S, Puurtinen M, Sosis R. Content, cost, and context: a framework for understanding human signaling systems. Evolutionary Anthropology. 2019 Mar 1;28(2):86-99. https://doi.org/10.1002/evan.21768

Author

Barker, Jessica L. ; Power, Eleanor A. ; Heap, Stephen ; Puurtinen, Mikael ; Sosis, Richard. / Content, cost, and context : a framework for understanding human signaling systems. In: Evolutionary Anthropology. 2019 ; Vol. 28, No. 2. pp. 86-99.

Bibtex

@article{bc414e324f844ff2b66c7c96f85c73d2,
title = "Content, cost, and context: a framework for understanding human signaling systems",
abstract = "Humans frequently perform extravagant and seemingly costly behaviors, such as widely sharing hunted resources, erecting conspicuous monumental structures, and performing dramatic acts of religious devotion. Evolutionary anthropologists and archeologists have used signaling theory to explain the function of such displays, drawing inspiration from behavioral ecology, economics, and the social sciences. While signaling theory is broadly aimed at explaining honest communication, it has come to be strongly associated with the handicap principle, which proposes that such costly extravagance is in fact an adaptation for signal reliability. Most empirical studies of signaling theory have focused on obviously costly acts, and consequently anthropologists have likely overlooked a wide range of signals that also promote reliable communication. Here, we build on recent developments in signaling theory and animal communication, developing an updated framework that highlights the diversity of signal contents, costs, contexts, and reliability mechanisms present within human signaling systems. By broadening the perspective of signaling theory in human systems, we strive to identify promising areas for further empirical and theoretical work.",
keywords = "communication, handicap principle, honest signaling, sender and receiver, signaling theory",
author = "Barker, {Jessica L.} and Power, {Eleanor A.} and Stephen Heap and Mikael Puurtinen and Richard Sosis",
year = "2019",
month = mar,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/evan.21768",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "86--99",
journal = "Evolutionary Anthropology",
issn = "1060-1538",
publisher = "JohnWiley & Sons, Inc.",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Content, cost, and context

T2 - a framework for understanding human signaling systems

AU - Barker, Jessica L.

AU - Power, Eleanor A.

AU - Heap, Stephen

AU - Puurtinen, Mikael

AU - Sosis, Richard

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - Humans frequently perform extravagant and seemingly costly behaviors, such as widely sharing hunted resources, erecting conspicuous monumental structures, and performing dramatic acts of religious devotion. Evolutionary anthropologists and archeologists have used signaling theory to explain the function of such displays, drawing inspiration from behavioral ecology, economics, and the social sciences. While signaling theory is broadly aimed at explaining honest communication, it has come to be strongly associated with the handicap principle, which proposes that such costly extravagance is in fact an adaptation for signal reliability. Most empirical studies of signaling theory have focused on obviously costly acts, and consequently anthropologists have likely overlooked a wide range of signals that also promote reliable communication. Here, we build on recent developments in signaling theory and animal communication, developing an updated framework that highlights the diversity of signal contents, costs, contexts, and reliability mechanisms present within human signaling systems. By broadening the perspective of signaling theory in human systems, we strive to identify promising areas for further empirical and theoretical work.

AB - Humans frequently perform extravagant and seemingly costly behaviors, such as widely sharing hunted resources, erecting conspicuous monumental structures, and performing dramatic acts of religious devotion. Evolutionary anthropologists and archeologists have used signaling theory to explain the function of such displays, drawing inspiration from behavioral ecology, economics, and the social sciences. While signaling theory is broadly aimed at explaining honest communication, it has come to be strongly associated with the handicap principle, which proposes that such costly extravagance is in fact an adaptation for signal reliability. Most empirical studies of signaling theory have focused on obviously costly acts, and consequently anthropologists have likely overlooked a wide range of signals that also promote reliable communication. Here, we build on recent developments in signaling theory and animal communication, developing an updated framework that highlights the diversity of signal contents, costs, contexts, and reliability mechanisms present within human signaling systems. By broadening the perspective of signaling theory in human systems, we strive to identify promising areas for further empirical and theoretical work.

KW - communication

KW - handicap principle

KW - honest signaling

KW - sender and receiver

KW - signaling theory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85062968999&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/evan.21768

DO - 10.1002/evan.21768

M3 - Review

C2 - 30869833

AN - SCOPUS:85062968999

VL - 28

SP - 86

EP - 99

JO - Evolutionary Anthropology

JF - Evolutionary Anthropology

SN - 1060-1538

IS - 2

ER -