resource-holding potential

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A measure of an animal's capacity to win a fight against an opponent, assuming that both adopt the same behavioural strategy. It is often equivalent simply to the animal's escalated fighting ability, which in turn derives from its strength, size, and experience, but it is sometimes affected by other factors, as when a male insect in possession of a female has greater chances of winning, even against a stronger opponent, because it is easier to hold on to something than to wrest it from the grip of an opponent. Also called resource-holding power or relative holding power. RHP abbrev. [Coined in 1974 by the British biologist Geoffrey A. Parker (born 1944)]

Subjects: Psychology.

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