Fig. 5. Cartoon of the efficiency trap. If exploration has revealed an optimum in the fitness landscape (panel a), a person, group, or company may shift to an exploitative mode where improved efficiency and specialization enhances the fitness further (panel b). However, in such a behavioral mode, the explorative capacity to scan for alternative options is reduced. This implies the risk of becoming trapped in a situation that may seem optimal from a myopic view, but is suboptimal compared with potentially much better places in the changing fitness landscape (panel c).