Journal article

A hunt in New Guinea: some difficulties for optimal foraging theory.

PD Dwyer

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute | Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland | Published : 1985


For one case study the motives for going hunting, the choice of companions and the subsequent distribution of the catch are shown to have been strongly connected. The inquiry strategy of 'optimal foraging theory' takes little account of either motives or distribution. To accommodate these components of hunting behaviour within a functionalist perspective, practitioners of 'optimal foraging theory' may have to incorporate sociobiological notions into their models and ask whether 'generalised reciprocity' is analogous to 'reciprocal altruism'.

University of Melbourne Researchers

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