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Deception Perspective on human and nonhuman deceit. Edited by Robert W. Mitchell and Nicholas S. Thompson. Albany State University of New York Press. 1986. xxix + 388 pp. figures tables index. $44.50 (cloth) $16

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lations with a high prevalence of syphilis
would infer lower fecundity, and therefore decreased fertility. McFalls and McFalls note
that there is, in fact, no evidence that syphilis adversely influences coital or contraceptive ability, and it is likely that syphilis
affects pregnancy loss only for the first 2
years of the mother’s syphilis infection. It is
apparent that perhaps 2 years’ reproductive
duration, or one child, depending on other
reproductive patterns, may be lost to mothers in endemic syphilis populations. The inference of permanent childlessness or high
rates of subfecundity are not, in light of the
current evidence, associated with a high
prevalence of syphilis. Many such findings
await readers of this book.
It is important to consider this volume as a
compendium, not as the latest research report on each disease that affects subfecundity. Although the book is comprehensive, and
there are numerous references up to about
1983, the way to use the book is to read it for
comparative findings. I can imagine a scholar
of historical demography, for instance, using
this volume to begin or check a study involving several specific diseases and their potential relationship to fertility levels.
Despite my praise for this valuable contribution to population literature, there are some
deficiencies. First, the book fails to use consistently or accurately the concepts of incidence
and prevalence (incidence is the development
of a disease during a specific point in time;
prevalence is the presence of a disease at a
specific point in time). Readers should be
aware that this volume labels sections as
“prevalence” and then describes incidence
data. Such confusion between incidence and
prevalence thoroughly muddles the argu-
DECEIT.Edited by Robert W.
Mitchell and Nicholas S. Thompson. Albany: State University of New York Press.
1986. xxix + 388 pp., figures, tables, index.
$44.50 (cloth), $16.95 (paper).
According to the editors, this volume represents the first interdisciplinary study of
deception and its manifestations in a variety
of animal species. The array of animals and
their behaviors investigated ranges from deceptive signalling in invertebrates, such as
ment. Second, McFalls and McFdls criticize
current prevalence estimates of selected diseases by noting the extent to which diagnostic
tests misclassify individuals on their true disease status. Misclassification is certainly important for multivariate analysis of individual
data, and misclassification is a paramount
problem for clinical diagnosis, but the concern
at the population level centers on the bias of
the estimate. Some diagnostic tests, depending on their sensitivity and specificity, yield
individual misclassification and useful population estimates. In short, test misclassification does not automatically imp1.y population
bias in disease estimates. Third, two sections
of this book misleadingly criticize the accuracy of data collected in maternal birth histories. Great progress has, in fact, been made by
demographers in collecting birth and death
information with mother’s retrospective birth
histories, and these data are much better than
is indicated by the authors.
I am sure that this volume will provide
enjoyable reading for population researchers.
Its 15 chapters on selected disease categories
will keep researchers busy during long winter evenings. And, if bored, readers can pick
up this book and study a new disease. It
could be the beginning of a nelv population
study. Researchers owe these authors a
grateful thank you.
Life Insurance Marketing arid Research
P 0.Box 208
Hartford Connecticut
fireflies and stomatopods, to false-alarm calling by birds and foxes, to outright lying in
great apes and humans. The variety of approaches, concepts, and perspectives employed in studying deception is considerable
and includes the historical, philosophical,
ecological, evolutionary, ethological, developmental, psychological, and anthropological. As the newest publication in the SUNY
series Animal Behavior, the core of contributions is papers presented at the annual meeting of the Animal Behavior Society held in
August, 1982.
The volume is organized into four parts.
The first section, with three contributions,
sets the stage by offering general conceptual
frameworks within which to interpret deception and distinguish its various types. Mitchell, one of the coeditors, gives a very lucid
history of the study of deception. In addition;
he offers a classification scheme that distinguishes four different levels of deception in
terms of “programs” that create or are responsive to different complexities among animal species. Russow examines deception
from the perspective of philosophical functionalism. Her approach seems less complex
than that of Mitchell; she distinguishes between evolutionary and morphologically produced deceptions, such as mimicry, on the
one side, and psychologically produced deceptions, such as lying, on the other. The approach to deception by Thompson, the other
coeditor, is based on the concept of natural
design. He argues that not only is behavior
designed but some behaviors are designed to
defeat the design of other behaviors. Because
of its complexity, deceptive behavior thus
presents a second order of natural design.
In the second part, four authors discuss
deception from an ecological and/or evolutionary perspective. Smith examines the evolution of deceit and honesty in terms of coevolutionary systems of animal interaction.
He convincingly demonstrates that manipulative and reliable communication indeed can
coexist in communication systems of any degree of complexity. He thus resolves the conflict between theories that predict the
evolution of reliability, such as that of Zahavi, and those that predict the evolution of
manipulation, such as that of Dawkins and
Krebs. Avian antipredator behavior based on
injury-feigning displays is considered a classic example of nonhuman deception. Sordahl
reexamines parental distraction displays in
American avocets and black-necked stilts
from an evolutionary perspective. Lloyd and
Caldwell discuss interspecific mimicry in fireflies and intraspecific bluffing in stomatopods, respectively. For both of these invertebrates, further research is needed to clarify to what extent, if any, learning or imitation contribute to deceptive actions.
The third and, with seven contributions,
largest section offers ethological, psychological, and developmental perspectives on deception. Silverman, in an elegantly designed
experimental study, examined whether a female pigtail macaque could solve a social
manipulation problem through the novel coordination of previously acquired skills. The
monkey failed to develop the necessary insight, which implies that naturally occuring
social manipulations in pigtail macaques do
not involve complex inductive inferences. The
deceptive use of alarm calls in neotropical
sentinel birds and arctic foxes and a variety
of deceptive actions in captive Asian elephants are discussed by Munn, Ruppel, and
Morris, respectively. Each author offers evidence that the deceivers knew that they were
deceiving, and that the victims sometimes
realized the imposture and checked for other
sources of information and retaliated. Quite
interestingly, whereas deceptions in sentinel
birds and arctic foxes often resulted in material gain, i.e., avoidance of potential food loss,
at least some deceptive actions in elephants
cannot be explained in terms of material,
energetic, or reproductive benefits but may
have an emotional basis such as anger or
spite. Social understandings among chimpanzees, between dogs and people, and between a sign-using orangutan and a human
observer are examined by de Waal, Mitchell
and Thompson, and Miles, respectively. De
Waal’s study of nonritualized, intelligent
forms of deception in semicaptive chimpanzees is particularly intriguing. A number of
observed incidents strongly indicate the existence of premeditated or intentional deceptions in our closest relatives, and de Waal
goes as far as suggesting that chimpanzee
skills in deceit are a match for human liedetecting abilities. Chevalier-Skolnikoff offers a Piagetian approach to the development
of deception and applies this perspective to
Old World monkeys, apes, and humans. She
finds that macaques and Iangurs do not acquire all the cognitive capacities necessary
to engage fluently in deception, whereas
great apes and humans do. The results of her
analysis are thus in accordance with Silverman’s findings on pigtail macaques and those
by de Waal on chimpanzees and Miles on
orangut ans.
Deception is a common phenomenon in human interactions, and its occurence in children, adult relationships, sports, the military,
and culture is examined in the last section.
Vlasek’s analysis focuses on the social-cognitive and linguistic development in children.
She demonstrates that the development of
deception follows the development of other
skills in social understanding, and with their
development grows the increasing ability to
lie successfully. Werth and Flaherty use a
phenomenological approach to human deception. Based on interviews with deceivers and
victims, they discover that individuals deceiving in personal relationships are often
assisted by their victims, who actually cooperate by disregarding evidence contrary to
the misinformation and by deceiving themselves into believing that they are not being
deceived. Deception in sports, discussed by
Mawby and Mitchell, seems a particularly
intriguing topic, since, similar to many nonhuman deceptive actions, deception by athletes relies almost exclusively on body
language rather than the spoken word. For
example, deception may be achieved by looking in one direction and then rapidly moving
in another. Not so successful quarterbacks
and wide receivers may want to read this
chapter very closely. Sexton, in his presenta-
tion of the Allies’ plans in deceiving the Japanese in World War 11, stresses the importance of knowledge of history in military deception. An anthropological perspective on
deception is taken by Anderson in her analysis of the Saami of Lapland. She discovers
systemic factors tending to produce and
maintain deceit and secrecy at all levels of
this particular society.
I fully agree with a remark made in the
introduction to this book: Deception is a n
enticing field of study. I would like to add
that the manner in which it is presented in
this volume is fascinating too.
Edited by
Bryan G. Norton. Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press. 1986. xi + 305 pp., bibliography, index. $29.50 (cloth).
with management decisions, a n area seen as
one in which “middle range” decision making is possible in spite of the epistemological
and practical problems besetting the larger
issues. This section contains an excellent
chapter by Slobodkin, along with ones by
Terry Leitzell and Robert Carlton.
To seek justification for the preservation of
species as a subject divorced froin the politics, passion, belief, and other factors that
contain the topic in the “real world” is a
deliberate analytical decision, one that ultimately negates the book’s goal, but one that
also gives the book its charm. The authors
are anything but innocent of the wider social
reality, and their decision to restrict the scope
of their contributions gives a knowing quixotism to the book. A telling additional restriction of the book’s scope, to the United
States, creates a n implicit attempt to use the
logic of that culture to argue for preservation
without facing the issue of cultural change.
These restrictions have their consequences.
As a group, the essays in Part I are flat. The
definition of the problem involves too much
of a litany of widely known cases, a preaching to the converted. Habitat preservation
and American conceptualizations of the relationship between humans and “nature” are
fatally separated from the specific issue of
species preservation so that no compelling
general or specific problems are posed. This
section would have been immeasurably im-
The Preservation of Species is a n engaging
but perplexing book. The outgrowth of a series of deliberations organized a t The Center
for Philosophy and Public Policy of the University of Maryland, its objectives are “to
examine and evaluate the various reasons
that have been and could be given for preserving nonhuman species from extinction”
and ‘<tograpple with the difficult problem of
The book has a good introduction by Bryan
Norton, three major sections, and a n epilog.
The first section, “The Problem,” focuses on
demonstrating that extinctions are occurring
at a n unprecedented rate. It contains chapters by Thomas Lovejoy, Geerat Vermeij, and
Stephen Kellert. Part XI, “Values and Objectives,” tackles a number of economic and
philosophical issues centering on the value
of nonhuman species. It is the most animated
section of the book and contains chapters by
Alan Randall, Bryan Norton, J. Baird Callicott, Elliot Sober, and Donald H. Regan. Callicott’s chapter, “On The Intrinsic Value of
Nonhuman Species,” as augmented by Sober’s disagreements in “Philosophical Problems For Environmentalism,” is the best
chapter in the book. Part I11 is concerned
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
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