Self-defense as an evolutionarily stable strategy of behavior

Started by Volunto, Feb 07, 2023, 06:45 PM

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As we found out earlier, violence is not an evolutionarily stable strategy of behavior for species that have strong innate armaments and are unable to escape from it. The most aggressive individuals that initiate attacks will die more often due to the armament and resistance of their victims. As a result, there will be evolutionary pressure for members of a population to develop inhibitors of intraspecific aggression, or so-called violence inhibitor, since individuals lacking such a mechanism will be less likely to pass on their genes further.

It is worth understanding one important point – this will not work if the victim of the attack cannot use its weapons in order to protect itself. This leads us to the assumption that at the time of the presence of an immediate threat to life, the function of the violence inhibitor should be suppressed for a short period of time, sufficient to repulse the aggressor. It is a necessary condition for the development of the violence inhibitor in the course of biological evolution; otherwise, more aggressive individuals would gain an evolutionary advantage.

This assumption is consistent with the concept of the threat superiority effect, which we considered at the beginning of our study. According to it, the presence of a threat in the environment and social signals leads to the activation of defense mechanisms and the suppression of other ongoing cognitive processes.

Also, computer simulations of evolutionary processes have shown that neither the belligerent strategy (hawk), which consists in making attacks, nor the timid strategy (dove), which consists in retreating when attacked, are not as evolutionarily stable strategies as the retaliator strategy, which means to behave non-aggressively but in the event of an attack to fight back. Timid individuals cannot compete with aggressive individuals, but aggressive individuals risk getting hurt in fights. Therefore, the mixed retaliator strategy is the most optimal.