Modeling hunter-gatherer decision making: complementing optimal foraging theory
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- Mithen, S.J. Hum Ecol (1988) 17: 59. doi:10.1007/BF01047652
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While optimal foraging theory has been of considerable value for understanding hunter-gatherer subsistence patterns, there is a need for a complementary approach to human foraging behavior which focuses on decision-making processes. Having made this argument, the paper proposes the type of modeling approach that should be developed, using decision making during encounter foraging as an example. This model concerns the individual decision maker attempting to improve his foraging efficiency, rather than maximize it, under the constraint of limited information and with conflicting goals. This is illustrated by applying it to the Valley Bisa hunters using computer simulation.