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Influence

Every species of social animal and eusocial insect must have a means of social influence—a way for one or more members of the species to direct, coordinate, and influence other members of the species. Such social influence tactics determine the allocation of resources within a community of the species and also provide an evolutionary advantage to social species in their quest to gain the resources needed for survival. For example, Pogonomyrmex barbatus (red harvester ants) dynamically allocate tasks within their colonies (e.g., forging, patrolling, midden work) by having each ant follow a social consensus rule of “the more contact with another ant succeeding at a task, the more likely I should switch to that task.” Pan troglodytes (chimpanzees) use a number of social influence tactics ...

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