+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Not-so-social learning strategies

Not-so-social learning strategies

Proceedings. Biological Sciences 282(1802)

Social learning strategies (SLSs) are rules specifying the conditions in which it would be adaptive for animals to copy the behaviour of others rather than to persist with a previously established behaviour or to acquire a new behaviour through asocial learning. In behavioural ecology, cultural evolutionary theory and economics, SLSs are studied using a 'phenotypic gambit'-from a purely functional perspective, without reference to their underlying psychological mechanisms. However, SLSs are described in these fields as if they were implemented by complex, domain-specific, genetically inherited mechanisms of decision-making. In this article, we suggest that it is time to begin investigating the psychology of SLSs, and we initiate this process by examining recent experimental work relating to three groups of strategies: copy when alternative unsuccessful, copy when model successful and copy the majority. In each case, we argue that the reported behaviour could have been mediated by domain-general and taxonomically general psychological mechanisms; specifically, by mechanisms, identified through conditioning experiments, that make associative learning selective. We also suggest experimental manipulations that could be used in future research to resolve more fully the question whether, in non-human animals, SLSs are mediated by domain-general or domain-specific psychological mechanisms.

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 058427947

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25608880

DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1709

Related references

Pumping up the protégés: innovative social learning using psychomotor learning strategies. Journal of Nursing Education 49(1): 60, 2010

Inter-modal learning task in bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): a preliminary study showed that social factors might influence learning strategies. Acta Ethologica. June; 81: 57-64, 2005

Adaptive social learning strategies in temporally and spatially varying environments : how temporal vs. spatial variation, number of cultural traits, and costs of learning influence the evolution of conformist-biased transmission, payoff-biased transmission, and individual learning. Human Nature 23(4): 386-418, 2013

Social learning strategies. Learning & Behavior 32(1): 4-14, 2004

Social learning strategies in honeybee foragers do the costs of using private information affect the use of social information?. Animal Behaviour 85(6): 1443-1449, 2013

Who Knows? Metacognitive Social Learning Strategies. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20(3): 204-213, 2016

Social learning strategies in networked groups. Cognitive Science 37(8): 1383-1425, 2014

Two success-biased social learning strategies. Theoretical Population Biology 86: 43-49, 2014

Distance learning strategies for weight management utilizing social media: A comparison of phone conference call versus social media platform. Rationale and design for a randomized study. Contemporary Clinical Trials 47: 282-288, 2017

Children with learning disabilities: social goals and strategies. Journal of Learning Disabilities 21(5): 301-306, 1988

Blackboxing: social learning strategies and cultural evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 371(1693), 2016

Phenotypic plasticity of avian social-learning strategies. Animal Behaviour 84(6), 2012

Social learning theory: strategies for health promotion. Aaohn Journal 41(5): 245-249, 1993

Co-evolution of learning complexity and social foraging strategies. Journal of Theoretical Biology 267(4): 573-581, 2011

Why copy others? Insights from the social learning strategies tournament. Science 328(5975): 208-213, 2010