Why Fight? How do we measure decision-making during contests?

Sarah Wofford

Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University

Wednesday, December 02

3:30 p.m. in 101 Love


While contests can help an individual secure access to vital resources, the energy or time necessary to engage in contest behavior can be detrimental. Consequently, several factors play a role in decisions about contest engagement and persistence. Current models interested in unraveling the mysteries of decision making in contests focus on the relationship between one or more physical characteristics and the duration of a contest. Unfortunately, this only addresses one piece of the puzzle. In our quest for a new model of assessment we must incorporate more variables that affect these decisions (i.e. resource value, previous experience, information availability) and examine how their effects are altered as environmental conditions change. My seminar focuses on building the future of measurement and prediction of decision making in contests using an animal model for which all of this information is already available.

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