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Risk-Sensitive Adaptive Tactics: Models and Evidence from Subsistence Studies in Biology and Anthropology

Citation

Winterhalder, Bruce; Lu, Flora E.; & Tucker, Bram (1999). Risk-Sensitive Adaptive Tactics: Models and Evidence from Subsistence Studies in Biology and Anthropology. Journal of Archaelogical Research, 7(4), 301-48.

Abstract

Risk-sensitive analysis of subsistence adaptations is warranted when (i) outcomes are to some degree unpredictable and (ii) they have nonlinear consequences for fitness and/or utility. Both conditions are likely to be common among peoples studied by ecological anthropologists and archaeologists. We develop a general conceptual model of risk. We then review and summarize the extensive empirical literatures from biology and anthropology for methodological insights and for their comparative potential. Risk-sensitive adaptive tactics are diverse and they are taxonomically widespread. However, the anthropological literature rarely makes use of formal models of risk-sensitive adaptation, while the biological literature lacks naturalistic observations of risk-sensitive behavior. Both anthropology and biology could benefit from greater interdisciplinary exchange.

URL

https://www.jstor.org/stable/41053119

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Archaelogical Research

Author(s)

Winterhalder, Bruce
Lu, Flora E.
Tucker, Bram

Year Published

1999

Volume Number

7

Issue Number

4

Pages

301-48

Reference ID

410