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Costly signalling theory and dishonest signalling

  • Shan Sun
  • Michal Johanis
  • Jan RychtářEmail author
ORIGINAL PAPER
  • 67 Downloads

Abstract

We analyze the model of costly signalling theory and show that dishonest signalling is still a possible outcome even for costly indices that cannot be faked. We assume that signallers pay the cost for sending a signal and that the cost correlates negatively with signaller’s quality q and correlates positively with signal’s strength s. We show that for any given function f with continuous derivative, there is a cost function t(s, q) increasing in s and decreasing in q so that when the signaller of quality q optimizes the strength of the signal, it will send the signal of strength f(q). In particular, optimal signals can follow any given function f. Our results can explain the curvilinear relationship between the strength of signals and physical condition of three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

Keywords

Honest signalling Dishonest signalling Game theory Index hypothesis Handicap 

Notes

Funding information

SS was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31870357); MJ was supported by grant GAČR 16-07378S

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, School of Life SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical Analysis, Faculty of Mathematics and PhysicsCharles UniversityPraha 8Czech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsThe University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA

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