Informational Warfare

Hess, Nicole C. and Hagen, Edward H. (2002) Informational Warfare. [Preprint]

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Recent empirical and theoretical work suggests that reputation was an important mediator of access to resources in ancestral human environments. Reputations were built and maintained by the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information about the actions and capabilities of group members-that is, by gossiping. Strategic gossiping would have been an excellent strategy for manipulating reputations and thereby competing effectively for resources and for cooperative relationships with group members who could best provide such resources. Coalitions (cliques) may have increased members' abilities to manipulate reputations by gossiping. Because, over evolutionary time, women may have experienced more within-group competition than men, and because female reputations may have been more vulnerable than male reputations to gossip, gossiping may have been a more important strategy for women than men. Consequently, women may have evolved specializations for gossiping alone and in coalitions. We develop and partially test this theory.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:gossip, female coalitions, friendship, reputation, status
Subjects:Biology > Sociobiology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:2112
Deposited By: Hagen, Edward
Deposited On:27 Feb 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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