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Signaling, in economic terms, is putting money on the table just to prove that you can. In biology Peacocks expend energy on elaborate plumage, thus exposing themselves to risk of capture, to prove that they are good mates, this is known as handicap signaling.)
Need for signaling
Countersignaling, by contrast, is showing off by not showing off, or by playing humble. A mediocre student may exaggerate or brag on a college application, but the best of the best would not stoop so low.
- Rick Harbaugh has written more extensively about countersignaling.
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