Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Signaller

  • Shannon M. DigweedEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1673-1

Synonyms

Definition

Any individual who produces a signal during the communication process.

There are many definitions of a signaller in the communication literature, which vary from manipulator to cooperative informer to continuous manager. Krebs and Dawkins (1984) provided a more manipulative view of the communicative process. They felt that signallers were “manipulators.” For example, in order for a communicative signal to persist in the environment, it must coevolve with a signaller and a receiver; therefore the manipulator’s role is that of the sender or signaller altering the listener’s behavior in a way to directly benefit the sender (Krebs and Dawkins 1984). In a similar way to the definition of receivers, the definition of a signaller (as a manipulator) relies heavily on the fact that signals are reliable and provide honest cues that receivers can act upon. Thus, the handicap principle plays a key role in the idea of manipulation. Zahavi (1975)...

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References

  1. Krebs, J. R., & Dawkins, R. (1984). Animal signals: Mind reading and manipulation. In J. R. Krebs & N. B. Davies (Eds.), Behavioural ecology and evolutionary approach (pp. 380–402). Sunderland: Sinauer Associates.Google Scholar
  2. Morton, E. D. (2017). Animal vocal communication: Assessment and management roles (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Owings, D. H., & Hennessey, D. F. (1984). The importance of variation in sciurid visual and vocal communication. In J. O. Murie & G. R. Michener (Eds.), The biology of ground-dwelling squirrels (pp. 167–201). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  4. Owings, D. H., & Morton, E. S. (1998). Animal vocal communication: A new approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Seyfarth, R. M., Cheney, D. L., & Marler, P. (1980). Vervet monkey alarm calls: Semantic communication in a free-ranging primate. Animal Behavior, 28, 1070–1094.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Smith, W. J. (1977). The behaviour of communicating, an ethological approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Zahavi, A. (1975). Mate selection – A selection for a handicap. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 53, 205–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacEwan UniversityEdmontonCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Shannon M. Digweed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacEwan UniversityEdmontonCanada