Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Costly Signaling and Altruism

  • Gareth CrazeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3484-1



An advertisement of one’s phenotypic quality of cooperativeness, based on individually risky or resource-intensive displays of cooperation and/or selflessness.

In most social psychology traditions, altruism has tended to be examined in terms of the isolated situational factors which give rise to it on the part of individual altruists. Considerations like social norms and conventions, the proximity of the altruist to bystanders and confederates, the influence of rewards, and transient emotional states and much else have variously been identified as some of the major reasons why people tend to behave in an altruistic manner toward others. While examining these factors remains crucial to informing our understanding of the range-of-the-moment, proximal nature of altruism, adopting an evolutionary psychology lens allows us to assess whyit is, in distal, ultimate terms, that these underlying motives...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Kniffin
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA