Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Fighting Assessment

  • Vít TřebickýEmail author
  • Michael Stirrat
  • Jan Havlíček
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2738-1

Synonyms

Definition

Neuro-cognitive processes involved in estimating others’ and one’s own ability to inflict harm and other fitness-related costs in physical confrontation based on available cues related to the likelihood of success in physical conflict.

Introduction

When organisms are competing for the same resource there are multiple strategies that each individual might take. They might cooperate, they might try to scramble to outcompete, they might leave and seek alternative sources, or they might aggressively compete (Duntley 2005). This last choice is a decision to inflict costs on the other and is likely made where at least one of the other strategies are available. It is therefore an interesting question to analyse when and how organisms decide to aggressively compete.

While a number of factors will be at play in the wider context, such as the value of the resource and how divisible it is, for our purposes here we focus on...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Notes

Acknowledgement

VT and JH are supported by the Czech Science Foundation GAČR P407/16/03899S, by Charles University Research Centre program No. 204056, and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports NPU I program No. LO1611.

References

  1. Archer, J. (2004). Sex differences in aggression in real-world settings: A meta-analytic review. Review of General Psychology, 8(4), 291–322.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.8.4.291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Archer, J. (2009). Does sexual selection explain human sex differences in aggression? The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32(3–4), 249–266; discussion 266–311.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X09990951.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Arnott, G. (2017). Evolution of fighting assessment abilities. In T. K. Shackelford & V. A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science. Cham: Springer International Publishing.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6.Google Scholar
  4. Arnott, G., & Elwood, R. W. (2009). Assessment of fighting ability in animal contests. Animal Behaviour, 77(5), 991–1004.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.02.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beaver, K. M., Connolly, E. J., & Schwartz, J. A. (2015). Male physical fighting ability during adolescence is influenced by height and bulk. Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, 1(4), 434–446.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40865-015-0020-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bergman, T. J., Ho, L., & Beehner, J. C. (2009). Chest color and social status in male geladas (Theropithecus gelada). International Journal of Primatology, 30(6), 791–806.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-009-9374-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berry, D. S. (1991). Accuracy in social perception: Contributions of facial and vocal information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61(2), 298–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brink, O., Vesterby, A., & Jensen, J. (1998). Pattern of injuries due to interpersonal violence. Injury, 29(9), 705–709.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0020-1383(98)00176-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Burton, C. M., & Rule, N. O. (2013). Target effects judgments of height from faces are informedby dominance and facial maturity. Social Cognition, 31(6), 672–685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carré, J. M., McCormick, C. M., & Mondloch, C. J. (2009). Facial structure is a reliable cue of aggressive behavior. Psychological Science, 20(10), 1194–1198.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02423.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Carré, J. M., Murphy, K. R., & Hariri, A. R. (2013). What lies beneath the face of aggression? Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8(2), 224–229.  https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsr096.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Carrier, D. R., & Morgan, M. H. (2014). Protective buttressing of the hominin face. Biological Reviews, 90(1), 330–346.  https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Coetzee, V., Chen, J., Perrett, D. I., & Stephen, I. D. (2010). Deciphering faces: Quantifiable visual cues to weight. Perception, 39(1), 51–61.  https://doi.org/10.1068/p6560.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Dixson, B. J. W., Sherlock, J. M., Cornwell, W. K., & Kasumovic, M. M. (2017). Contest competition and men’s facial hair: Beards may not provide advantages in combat. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39, 147.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.11.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Doll, L. M., Hill, A. K., Rotella, M. A., Cárdenas, R. A., Welling, L. L. M., Wheatley, J. R., & Puts, D. A. (2014). How well do men’s faces and voices index mate quality and dominance? Human Nature, 25(2), 200–212.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12110-014-9194-3.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Duntley, J. D. (2005). Adaptations to dangers from humans. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 224–249). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  17. Ellis, L. (1995). Dominance and reproductive success among nonhuman animals: A cross-species comparison. Ethology and Sociobiology, 16(4), 257–333.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0162-3095(95)00050-U.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Enlow, D. H., Hans, M. H. G., & McGrew, L. (1996). In Saunders (Ed.), Essentials of facial growth. Philadelphia: Saunders.Google Scholar
  19. Fink, B., Neave, N., & Seydel, H. (2007). Male facial appearance signals physical strength to women. American Journal of Human Biology, 19(1), 82–87.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.20583.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Fretwell, S. (1969). Dominance behavior and winter habitat distribution in juncos (Junco hyemalis). Bird-Banding, 40(1), 1.  https://doi.org/10.2307/4511533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Frýdlová, P., Šimková, O., Janovská, V., Velenský, P., & Frynta, D. (2017). Offenders tend to be heavier: Experimental encounters in mangrove-dwelling monitor lizards (Varanus indicus). Acta Ethologica, 20(1), 37–45.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10211-016-0246-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Geniole, S. N., & McCormick, C. M. (2015). Facing our ancestors: Judgements of aggression are consistent and related to the facial width-to-height ratio in men irrespective of beards. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36(4), 279–285.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.12.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ghazanfar, A. A., & Santos, L. R. (2004). Primate brains in the wild: The sensory bases for social interactions. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5(8), 603–616.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn1473.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Green, T. A. (2010). Martial arts of the world: An encyclopedia of history and innovation (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara: ABC Clio.Google Scholar
  25. Han, C., Kandrik, M., Hahn, A. C., Fisher, C. I., Feinberg, D. R., Holzleitner, I. J., & …, Jones, B. C. (2017). Interrelationships among men’s threat potential, facial dominance, and vocal dominance. Evolutionary Psychology, 15(1), 147470491769733.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704917697332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Haselhuhn, M. P., Ormiston, M. E., & Wong, E. M. (2015). Men’s facial width-to-height ratio predicts aggression: A meta-analysis. PLoS One, 10(4), e0122637.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122637.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Hill, A. K., Hunt, J., Welling, L. L. M. M., Cárdenas, R. A., Rotella, M. A., Wheatley, J. R., et al. (2013). Quantifying the strength and form of sexual selection on men’s traits. Evolution and Human Behavior, 34(5), 334–341.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.05.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Holzleitner, I. J., & Perrett, D. I. (2016). Perception of strength from 3D faces is linked to facial cues of physique. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37(3), 217–229.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.11.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Horns, J., Jung, R., & Carrier, D. R. (2015). In vitro strain in human metacarpal bones during striking: Testing the pugilism hypothesis of hominin hand evolution. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(20), 3215–3221.  https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.125831.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Hugill, N., Fink, B., Neave, N., & Seydel, H. (2009). Men’s physical strength is associated with women’s perceptions of their dancing ability. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(5), 527–530.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2009.04.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jeanmonod, R. K., Jeanmonod, D., Damewood, S., Perry, C., Powers, M., & Lazansky, V. (2011). Punch injuries: Insights into intentional closed fist injuries. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 12(1), 6–10.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2012.11.024.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. King, R. (2013). Fists of furry: At what point did human fists part company with the rest of the hominid lineage? Journal of Experimental Biology, 216(12), 2361–2361.  https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.085597.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Kraus, M. W., & Chen, T.-W. D. (2013). A winning smile? Smile intensity, physical dominance, and fighter performance. Emotion, 13(2), 270–279.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030745.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Lassek, W. D., & Gaulin, S. J. C. (2009). Costs and benefits of fat-free muscle mass in men: Relationship to mating success, dietary requirements, and native immunity. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30(5), 322–328.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.04.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Little, A. C., Třebický, V., Havlíček, J., Roberts, S. C., & Kleisner, K. (2015). Human perception of fighting ability: facial cues predict winners and losers in mixed martial arts fights. Behavioral Ecology, 26(6), 1470–1475.  https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arv089.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Manson, J. H., Wrangham, R. W., Boone, J. L., Chapais, B., Dunbar, R. I. M., Ember, C. R., et al. (1991). Intergroup aggression in chimpanzees and humans. Current Anthropology, 32(4), 369–390.  https://doi.org/10.1086/203974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Martignon, L., Vitouch, O., Takezawa, M., & Forster, M. R. (2003). Naive and yet enlightened: From natural frequencies to fast and frugal decision trees. In Thinking: Psychological perspective on reasoning, judgment, and decision making (pp. 189–211). Chichester: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Morgan, M. H., & Carrier, D. R. (2013). Protective buttressing of the human fist and the evolution of hominin hands. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 216(Pt 2), 236–244.  https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.075713.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Neil, S. J. (1985). Size assessment and cues: Studies of hermit crab contests. Behaviour, 92(1/2), 22–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Palmer-Hague, J. L., Zilioli, S., Jagore, J., & DeLecce, T. L. (2015). Body mass index predicts fighting ability in female UFC fighters, but facial width-to-height ratio may not. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology., 2, 185.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-015-0035-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Parker, G. A. (1974). Assessment strategy and the evolution of fighting behaviour. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 47(1), 223–243.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-5193(74)90111-8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Pollet, T. V., Stulp, G., & Groothuis, T. G. G. (2013). Born to win? Testing the fighting hypothesis in realistic fights: Left-handedness in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Animal Behaviour, 86(4), 839–843.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.07.026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Price, M. E., Dunn, J., Hopkins, S., & Kang, J. (2012). Anthropometric correlates of human anger. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33(3), 174–181.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2011.08.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Puts, D. A. (2010). Beauty and the beast: Mechanisms of sexual selection in humans. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(3), 157–175.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.02.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Re, D. E., Debruine, L. M., Jones, B. C., & Perrett, D. I. (2013a). Facial cues to perceived height influence leadership choices in simulated war and peace contexts. Evolutionary Psychology, 11(1), 89–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Re, D. E., Hunter, D. W., Coetzee, V., Tiddeman, B. P., Xiao, D., Debruine, L. M., & …, Perrett, D. I. (2013b). Looking like a leader-facial shape predicts perceived height and leadership ability. PLoS One, 8(12), e80957.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0080957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Roper, M. K. (1969). A survey of the evidence for intrahuman killing in the Pleistocene. Current Anthropology, 10(4), 427–459.  https://doi.org/10.1086/201038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rushen, J. (1987). A difference in weight reduces fighting when unacquaintednewly weande pigs first meet. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 67(4), 951–960.  https://doi.org/10.4141/cjas87-100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Scoggin, J. F., Brusovanik, G., Pi, M., Izuka, B., Pang, P., Tokumura, S., & Scuderi, G. (2010). Assessment of injuries sustained in mixed martial arts competition. American Journal of Orthopedics, 39(5), 247–251. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20567743.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Sell, A. N. (2011). The recalibrational theory and violent anger. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16(5), 381–389.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2011.04.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sell, A. N. (2017). Recalibration theory of anger. In T. K. Shackelford & V. A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science (pp. 1–3). Cham: Springer International Publishing.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sell, A. N., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J., Sznycer, D., von Rueden, C., & Gurven, M. (2009a). Human adaptations for the visual assessment of strength and fighting ability from the body and face. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276(1656), 575–584.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2008.1177.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Sell, A. N., Tooby, J., & Cosmides, L. (2009b). Formidability and the logic of human anger. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(35), 15073–15078.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0904312106.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  54. Sell, A., Bryant, G. A., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J., Sznycer, D., von Rueden, C., & …, Gurven, M. (2010). Adaptations in humans for assessing physical strength from the voice. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1699), 3509–3518.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.0769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sell, A. N., Hone, L. S. E., & Pound, N. (2012). The importance of physical strength to human males. Human Nature, 23(1), 30–44.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12110-012-9131-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Sell, A. N., Lukazsweski, A. W., & Townsley, M. (2017). Cues of upper body strength account for most of the variance in men’s bodily attractiveness. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1869), 20171819.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.1819.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Senar, J. C., & Camerino, M. (1998). Status signalling and the ability to recognize dominants: An experiment with siskins (Carduelis spinus). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 265(1405), 1515–1520.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1998.0466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Shepherd, J. P., Shapland, M., Pearce, N. X., & Scully, C. (1990). Pattern, severity and aetiology of injuries in victims of assault. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 83(2), 75–78.  https://doi.org/10.1177/014107689008300206.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  59. Short, L. A., Mondloch, C. J., McCormick, C. M., Carré, J. M., Ma, R., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2012). Detection of propensity for aggression based on facial structure irrespective of face race. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33(2), 121–129.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2011.07.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Smuts, B., Cheney, D., Seyfarth, R., Struhsaker, T., & Wrangham, R. (1987). Primate societies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  61. Stillman, T. F., Maner, J. K., & Baumeister, R. F. (2010). A thin slice of violence: Distinguishing violent from nonviolent sex offenders at a glance. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(4), 298–303.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.12.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Stirrat, M. R., & Perrett, D. I. (2012). Face structure predicts cooperation: Men with wider faces are more generous to their in-group when out-group competition is salient. Psychological Science, 23(7), 718–722.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611435133.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Stirrat, M. R., Stulp, G., & Pollet, T. V. (2012). Male facial width is associated with death by contact violence: Narrow-faced males are more likely to die from contact violence. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33(5), 551–556.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2012.02.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tibbetts, E. A., & Lindsay, R. (2008). Visual signals of status and rival assessment in Polistes dominulus paper wasps. Biology Letters, 4(3), 237–239.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0048.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  65. Tooby, J., Cosmides, L., Sell, A. N., Lieberman, D., & Sznycer, D. (2008). Internal regulatory variables and the design of human motivation: A computational and evolutionary approach. In A. Elliot (Ed.), Handbook of approach and avoidance motivation. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203888148.ch15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Toscano, H., Schubert, T., & Sell, A. N. (2014). Judgments of dominance from the face track physical strength. Evolutionary Psychology, 12(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Třebický, V., & Havlíček, J. (2017). Signals of body size. In T. K. Shackelford & V. A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science. Cham: Springer International Publishing.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Třebický, V., Kleisner, K., & Havlíček, J. (2012). Evolutionary concepts of human physical attractiveness: The case of male physique. Anthropologie, 50(1), 33–45.Google Scholar
  69. Třebický, V., Havlíček, J., Roberts, S. C., Little, A. C., & Kleisner, K. (2013). Perceived aggressiveness predicts fighting performance in mixed-martial-arts fighters. Psychological Science, 24(9), 1664–1672.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613477117.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Třebický, V., Fialová, J., Kleisner, K., Roberts, S. C., Little, A. C., & Havlíček, J. (2015). Further evidence for links between facial width-to-height ratio and fighting success: Commentary on Zilioli et al. (2014). Aggressive Behavior, 41(4), 331–334.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21559.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Walker, P. L. (1997). Wife beating, boxing, and broken noses: Skeletal evidence for the cultural patterning of interpersonal violence. In D. Frayer & D. Martin (Eds.), In troubled times: Violence and warfare in the past. London: Gordon and Breach.Google Scholar
  72. Walker, P. L. (2001). A bioarchaeological perspective on the history of violence. Annual Review of Anthropology, 30, 573–596. https://doi.org/0084-6570/01/1021-0573$14.00.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Watkins, C. D., & Jones, B. C. (2012). Priming men with different contest outcomes modulates their dominance perceptions. Behavioral Ecology, 23(3), 539–543.  https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arr221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Watkins, C. D., Fraccaro, P. J., Smith, F. G., Vukovic, J., Feinberg, D. R., Debruine, L. M., & Jones, B. C. (2010a). Taller men are less sensitive to cues of dominance in other men. Behavioral Ecology, 21(5), 943–947.  https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arq091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Watkins, C. D., Jones, B. C., & Debruine, L. M. (2010b). Individual differences in dominance perception: Dominant men are less sensitive to facial cues of male dominance. Personality and Individual Differences, 49(8), 967–971.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2010.08.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Weston, E. M., Friday, A. E., & Lio, P. (2007). Biometric evidence that sexual selection has shaped the hominin face. PLoS One, 2(8), e710.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Windhager, S., Schaefer, K., & Fink, B. (2011). Geometric morphometrics of male facial shape in relation to physical strength and perceived attractiveness, dominance, and masculinity. American Journal of Human Biology, 23(6), 805–814.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.21219.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. Wu, X.-J., Schepartz, L. A., Liu, W., & Trinkaus, E. (2011). Antemortem trauma and survival in the late Middle Pleistocene human cranium from Maba, South China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(49), 19558–19562.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1117113108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Zilioli, S., Sell, A. N., Stirrat, M. R., Jagor, J., Vickerman, W., Watson, N. V., & Jagore, J. (2014). Face of a fighter: Bizygomatic width as a cue of formidability. Aggressive Behavior, 41(4), 322–330.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vít Třebický
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Michael Stirrat
    • 3
  • Jan Havlíček
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of Mental HealthKlecanyCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.School of Psychological & Social SciencesYork St John UniversityYorkUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Russell Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IdahoMoscowUSA