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Deception and the Evolution of Plasticity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


Recent models using simple signaling games provide a theoretical setting for investigating the evolutionary connection between signaling and behavioral plasticity. These models have shown that plasticity is typically eliminated in common-interest signaling games. In many real cases of signaling, however, interests do not align. Here, I present a model of the evolution of plasticity in signaling games and consider games of common, opposed, and partially aligned interests. I find that the setting of partial common interest is most conducive to the evolution of plasticity. Plastic individuals succeed by learning when to deceive others and when to trust others’ signals.

Signaling Theory in Biological and Cognitive Sciences
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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