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Brett Beston

PSYCH 2TT3 2013 Lecture 7 Chapter 5Cultural Transmission Social Learningthe process of learning by watching others system of information transfer that affects an individuals behaviour based on what they previously observed Social Learning compared to Individual Learningfaster avoid trailanderror across generations and between individuals no loss of information in death of individual rare insight can spread quicklyMany animals show little to no social learningAnecdotes weaknessnot controlled experiments inspire experiments o Imo Japanese Macaquesweet potatoes placed on beach first individual to wash potatoes to remove sand other monkeys copied behaviourPoor evidence 1 Rate of increase was lownot exponential as expected some washing some not 2 Human biasmacaques not naturally playing with sweet potatoes on beach 3 Playing with objects in water isnt novelo Glance Japanese Macaque age 3began stone play stacking then knocking down stones stone play spread over 29 yearsOnly observe stone play in monkeys younger than Glanceo Blue Titsmilk bottle opening thick layer of cream at top of milk bottle birds learned to remove cap began in England 1920sBehaviour spread rapidlysocial learning probably involvedNot observed in Robinslow rate of bottle opening robins are territorial opposite sex only come together to breed contrast to very social blue birds that always interactTypes of Social Learningo Local Enhancementmodels action draws attention to an area observer learns from being drawn to a model learns on ownNo real learning from modelBenefitobserver joins model at location probably rich in food and safeEg Sticklebacksmodel fish put in certain area sand or gravel observer will spend more time in area that model is present inOld hunting exploitationApplication in conservationattract endangered birds to restored or protected habitats o Social Facilitationpresence of a model enhances learning in observer models presence draws attention to an areaGroup size increasesforaging increasesAdvantagedont have to be as vigilant for predators can spend more time learningo Contagionfacilitates learning in combination with individual learningEg Geese observing flight responseforaging together one bird quacks and flies the rest fly but may not know reason other bird is flying first bird may have seen predatorImitation nonhuman animalsobservational learning observer learns new behaviour by watching demonstrator action must be undertaken by observer presence of demonstrator and outcome of behaviour not sufficient o Learn new behaviour that has to do with spatial manipulation must lead to achievement of some goal process of attaining goal is importanto Anthropomorphismattribution of human traits on nonhuman animals o Chimps and ChildrenTaskopen Plexiglas box to get fruit can poke 2 plastic rods or twist knob clockwise and pull plastic rods to release lever then lift lidControlensure imitation observer plays with box because demonstrator plays with box local enhancementDemonstrationhalf of subjects observe poke half observe twist Observation coders rated observed behaviour on 07 scalemajority of individuals who saw poke poked saw twist twisted Conclusionsobserver learns new behaviour by watching demonstrator o Exists in few species local enhancement is prevalentCulture nonhuman animalsa suit of local traditions that uniquely identified a certain population o Traditiondistinctive behavioural pattern shared by two or more individuals in a social unit persists over time new practitioners acquire in part through socially aided learningo Eg Grooming handclasp in 2 chimpanzee groups varies depending on population palm to lam vs wrist to wristo Chimps termite harvesting toolset Goualougo Congo8 chimp communities have its own socially learned traditions set of tools unique to groupFirst stickthick break tunnelSecond stickthin brush tip to extract termites o Experimentpanpipe box poke hole or lift leverControlno expert present chimps cant learn on own 6 chimpsConditionsexpert trained in poke or lift method high ranking female adultObservation Periodexpert operates panpipe for 7 days observers observe then all observers have access to panpipeTest1516 chimps in each expert group gained food within one minuteResultsPoke groupalmost no adoption of lift techniqueLift groupmixed adoption of lift and poke technique first adopt lift then adopt poke lifting involves thrusting rod poke then lifting poking technique may be faster o Limited culture in other great apes chimpanzees and orangutans no known culture in other species they may have traditions eg bird songTeaching nonhuman animals 1
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