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Title: The ideal free distribution in humans: An experimental test
Author: Sokolowski, M.B.C.
Tonneau, F.
Freixa I Baque, E.
Issue Date: 1999
Abstract: How the distribution of resources affects the spatial distribution of animals is a central concern of behavioral ecology. One influential model relating population dynamics to individual foraging behavior is that of ideal free distribution (Fretwell & Lucas, 1970). This model assumes foragers of equal competitive abilities, moving freely from one habitat to another; the choices made by each individual subject are supposed to equalize gains across habitats. The resulting distribution at the group level, or ideal free distribution, has been tested with various animal species. Here we report an experimental test with human subjects competing for money. The results approximate those predicted by the ideal free model, the degree of approximation being consistent with that obtained in other species. This similarity of results supports the application of behavioral ecology models to human performance.
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