Friday, May 26, 2017

Predictive capacities tend to select for unpredictability in counter-strategies

From Protean primates: The evolution of adaptive unpredictability in competition and courtship by Geoffrey Miller
From the Abstract:
Machiavellian intelligence evolves because it lets primates predict and manipulate each others’ behavior. But game theory suggests that evolution will not stop there: predictive capacities tend to select for unpredictability in counter-strategies, just as many competitive games favor “mixed” (stochastic) strategies. For example, prey animals often evolve “protean” (adaptively unpredictable) evasion behavior to foil the predictive pursuit tactics used by their predators. The same adaptive logic should apply to more abstract social tactics, but protean social behavior remains overlooked in primatology and psychology, because complex order rather than useful chaos has been considered the hallmark of evolved adaptations. This chapter reviews the notions of psychological selection from evolutionary theory, mixed strategies from game theory, and protean behavior from behavioral ecology. It then presents six possible types of social proteanism in primates, and develops a model of how sexual selection through mate choice could have elaborated primate social proteanism into human creative intelligence.
An interesting proposition. It certainly seems plausible. However, the world is full of things which are plausible not true and of things which are true but not plausible. Now all we need is the evidence to support the proposition.

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