Limits to Action

Limits to Action

The Allocation of Individual Behavior

1st Edition - January 28, 1980

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  • Editor: J. E. R. Staddon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483276540

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Limits to Action: The Allocation of Individual Behavior presents the ideas and methods in the study of how individual organisms allocate their limited time and energy and the consequences of such allocation. The book is a survey of individual resource allocation, emphasizing the relationships of the concepts of utility, reinforcement, and Darwinian fitness. The chapters are arranged beginning with plants and general evolutionary considerations, through animal behavior in nature and laboratory, and ending with human behavior in suburb and institution. Topics discussed include operant conditioning; the principle of diminishing returns; and issues in relation to mating strategies. Biologists, sociologists, economists, and psychologists will find the book interesting.

Table of Contents

  • Contents

    List of Contributors




    Chapter 1 Concepts of Resource Allocation and Partitioning in Plants

    Resource Allocation within the Plant

    Resource Partitioning among Species and Individuals


    Chapter 2 On Uncertainty and the Law of Diminishing Returns in Evolution and Behavior

    The Diminishing Value of Behavior

    Uncertainty and Diversification

    The Role of Diminishing Value

    Uncertainty in Pollination Biology and Plant Life Histories

    Uncertainty and the Evolutionary Ethological Gamble

    Concluding Remarks


    Chapter 3 On the Evolution of Alternative Mating Strategies

    Mating Strategies and the Concept of Stability

    The Models




    Chapter 4 Optimality Analyses of Operant Behavior and Their Relation to Optimal Foraging

    Optimal Choice and Allocation of Behavior to Patches

    Optimal Choice and Functional Response



    Glossary of Symbols


    Chapter 5 Melioration and Behavioral Allocation

    Concurrent Variable-Ratio-Variable-Ratio (cone VR-VR)

    Concurrent Variable Interval-Variable Ratio

    Interdependent Concurrent Schedules





    Chapter 6 Behavioral Resilience and Its Relation to Demand Functions

    The Animal's Internal State

    The Optimality Criterion

    The Optimal Behavior When Constrained

    Resilience and Elasticity of Demand

    Elasticity and the Availability of "Substitutes"

    Behavior and Acclimatization


    Appendix I

    Appendix II

    Appendix III

    Appendix IV


    Chapter 7 Economics and Behavioral Psychology

    Rational and Irrational Behavior

    Psychological Economics

    Empirical Economics

    Experimental Economics


    Cognitive Economics (Decision Theory)

    Is Behavioral Economics Worth Developing?

    Appendix : Explanation of Terms


    Chapter 8 Consumer Demand Theory Applied to Choice Behavior of Rats

    Commodity Choice Theory

    Experimental Procedures

    Results of Income-Compensated Price Changes

    Results of Income-Constant Price Changes



    Chapter 9 Behavioral Economics, Token Economies, and Applied Behavior Analysis

    Commonalities between Token Economies and National Economies:Income, Consumption, and Savings

    The Use of Token Economies as Economics Laboratories

    Applied Benefits of Using Token Economies as Economics Laboratories

    Field Experiments Combining Applied Behavior Analysis and Economies



Product details

  • No. of pages: 328
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1980
  • Published: January 28, 1980
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483276540

About the Editor

J. E. R. Staddon

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