Information is a fitness enhancing resource

John M. McNamara*, Sasha R. X. Dall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Here we provide a biologically relevant proof of the well-known result from economics and statistical decision theory that having more information never reduces the expected payoff to a decision-making agent. We then go on to illustrate this with an ecologically motivated example based on a model of growth tinder uncertain predation risk. Throughout we use the central result that the fitness (reproductive) value of information can never be negative to highlight conceptual inconsistencies in the ecological literature on information use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalOikos
Volume119
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • BIOLOGY
  • RISK
  • PUBLIC INFORMATION
  • PREFERENCE
  • COST
  • ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

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