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Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making$
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Peter Hammerstein and Jeffrey R. Stevens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262018081

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.001.0001

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Variation in Decision Making

Variation in Decision Making

Chapter:
(p.243) 15 Variation in Decision Making
Source:
Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making
Author(s):

Sasha R. X. Dall

Samuel D. Gosling

Gordon D. A. Brown

Niels J. Dingemanse

Ido Erev

Martin Kocher

Laura Schulz

Peter M. Todd

Franjo J. Weissing

Max Wolf

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.003.0015

Variation in how organisms allocate their behavior over their lifetimes is key to determining Darwinian fitness, and thus the evolution of human and nonhuman decision making. This chapter explores how decision making varies across biologically and societally significant scales and what role such variation plays when trying to understand decision making from an evolutionary perspective. The importance of explicitly considering variation is highlighted, both when attempting to predict economically and socially important patterns of behavior and to obtain a deeper understanding of the fundamental biological processes involved. Key elements of a framework are identified for incorporating variation into a general theory of Darwinian decision making.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, variation in decision making, decision theory, social behavior, Darwinian fitness, evolutionary outcomes, heritable traits, variation

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