Risk-sensitive adaptive tactics: Models and evidence from subsistence studies in biology and anthropology

Citation
B. Winterhalder et al., Risk-sensitive adaptive tactics: Models and evidence from subsistence studies in biology and anthropology, J ARCHAE R, 7(4), 1999, pp. 301-348
Citations number
170
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Archeology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH
ISSN journal
1059-0161 → ACNP
Volume
7
Issue
4
Year of publication
1999
Pages
301 - 348
Database
ISI
SICI code
1059-0161(199912)7:4<301:RATMAE>2.0.ZU;2-F
Abstract
Risk-sensitive analysis of subsistence adaptations is warranted when (i) ou tcomes are to some degree unpredictable and (ii) they have nonlinear conseq uences for fitness and/or utility. Both conditions are likely to be common among peoples studied by ecological anthropologists and archaeologists. We develop a general conceptual model of risk. We then review and summarize th e extensive empirical literatures from biology and anthropology for methodo logical insights and for their comparative potential. Risk-sensitive adapti ve tactics are diverse and they are taxonomically widespread. However, the anthropological literature rarely makes use of formal models of risk-sensit ive adaptation, while the biological literature lacks naturalistic observat ions or risk-sensitive behavior. Both anthropology and biology could benefi t from greater interdisciplinary exchange.