Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals: implications for cultural diversity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals : implications for cultural diversity. / Kendal, R.; Hopper, L.M.; Whiten, A.; Brosnan, S.F.; Lambeth, S.P.; Schapiro, S.J.; Hoppitt, W.

In: Evolution and Human Behavior, Vol. 36, No. 1, 01.2015, p. 65-72.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Kendal, R, Hopper, LM, Whiten, A, Brosnan, SF, Lambeth, SP, Schapiro, SJ & Hoppitt, W 2015, 'Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals: implications for cultural diversity', Evolution and Human Behavior, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 65-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.09.002

APA

Kendal, R., Hopper, L. M., Whiten, A., Brosnan, S. F., Lambeth, S. P., Schapiro, S. J., & Hoppitt, W. (2015). Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals: implications for cultural diversity. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36(1), 65-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.09.002

Vancouver

Kendal R, Hopper LM, Whiten A, Brosnan SF, Lambeth SP, Schapiro SJ et al. Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals: implications for cultural diversity. Evolution and Human Behavior. 2015 Jan;36(1):65-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.09.002

Author

Kendal, R. ; Hopper, L.M. ; Whiten, A. ; Brosnan, S.F. ; Lambeth, S.P. ; Schapiro, S.J. ; Hoppitt, W. / Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals : implications for cultural diversity. In: Evolution and Human Behavior. 2015 ; Vol. 36, No. 1. pp. 65-72.

Bibtex - Download

@article{e3e20cfa82304e078cf8562c4131c323,
title = "Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals: implications for cultural diversity",
abstract = "Evolutionary theory predicts that natural selection will fashion cognitive biases to guide when, and from whom, individuals acquire social information, but the precise nature of these biases, especially in ecologically valid group contexts, remains unknown. We exposed four captive groups of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to a novel extractive foraging device and, by fitting statistical models, isolated four simultaneously operating transmission biases. These include biases to copy (i) higher-ranking and (ii) expert individuals, and to copy others when (iii) uncertain or (iv) of low rank. High-ranking individuals were relatively un-strategic in their use of acquired knowledge, which, combined with the bias for others to observe them, may explain reports that high innovation rates (in juveniles and subordinates) do not generate a correspondingly high frequency of traditions in chimpanzees. Given the typically low rank of immigrants in chimpanzees, a 'copying dominants' bias may contribute to the observed maintenance of distinct cultural repertoires in neighboring communities despite sharing similar ecology and knowledgeable migrants. Thus, a copying dominants strategy may, as often proposed for conformist transmission, and perhaps in concert with it, restrict the accumulation of traditions within chimpanzee communities whilst maintaining cultural diversity.",
keywords = "Transmission biases, Social learning strategies, Chimpanzees, Culture, Cultural diversity",
author = "R. Kendal and L.M. Hopper and A. Whiten and S.F. Brosnan and S.P. Lambeth and S.J. Schapiro and W. Hoppitt",
note = "RLK was funded by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship; LMH by a BBSRC studentship (BBS/S/K/2004/11255 supervised by AW) and, at the time of writing, is funded by the Guthman Fund; WH by a BBSRC grant (BB/I007997/1); SFB by a NSF CAREER award (SES 0847351) and (SES 0729244). The chimpanzee colony is supported by NIH U42 (RR-15090).",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.09.002",
language = "English",
volume = "36",
pages = "65--72",
journal = "Evolution and Human Behavior",
issn = "1090-5138",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "1",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals

T2 - implications for cultural diversity

AU - Kendal, R.

AU - Hopper, L.M.

AU - Whiten, A.

AU - Brosnan, S.F.

AU - Lambeth, S.P.

AU - Schapiro, S.J.

AU - Hoppitt, W.

N1 - RLK was funded by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship; LMH by a BBSRC studentship (BBS/S/K/2004/11255 supervised by AW) and, at the time of writing, is funded by the Guthman Fund; WH by a BBSRC grant (BB/I007997/1); SFB by a NSF CAREER award (SES 0847351) and (SES 0729244). The chimpanzee colony is supported by NIH U42 (RR-15090).

PY - 2015/1

Y1 - 2015/1

N2 - Evolutionary theory predicts that natural selection will fashion cognitive biases to guide when, and from whom, individuals acquire social information, but the precise nature of these biases, especially in ecologically valid group contexts, remains unknown. We exposed four captive groups of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to a novel extractive foraging device and, by fitting statistical models, isolated four simultaneously operating transmission biases. These include biases to copy (i) higher-ranking and (ii) expert individuals, and to copy others when (iii) uncertain or (iv) of low rank. High-ranking individuals were relatively un-strategic in their use of acquired knowledge, which, combined with the bias for others to observe them, may explain reports that high innovation rates (in juveniles and subordinates) do not generate a correspondingly high frequency of traditions in chimpanzees. Given the typically low rank of immigrants in chimpanzees, a 'copying dominants' bias may contribute to the observed maintenance of distinct cultural repertoires in neighboring communities despite sharing similar ecology and knowledgeable migrants. Thus, a copying dominants strategy may, as often proposed for conformist transmission, and perhaps in concert with it, restrict the accumulation of traditions within chimpanzee communities whilst maintaining cultural diversity.

AB - Evolutionary theory predicts that natural selection will fashion cognitive biases to guide when, and from whom, individuals acquire social information, but the precise nature of these biases, especially in ecologically valid group contexts, remains unknown. We exposed four captive groups of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to a novel extractive foraging device and, by fitting statistical models, isolated four simultaneously operating transmission biases. These include biases to copy (i) higher-ranking and (ii) expert individuals, and to copy others when (iii) uncertain or (iv) of low rank. High-ranking individuals were relatively un-strategic in their use of acquired knowledge, which, combined with the bias for others to observe them, may explain reports that high innovation rates (in juveniles and subordinates) do not generate a correspondingly high frequency of traditions in chimpanzees. Given the typically low rank of immigrants in chimpanzees, a 'copying dominants' bias may contribute to the observed maintenance of distinct cultural repertoires in neighboring communities despite sharing similar ecology and knowledgeable migrants. Thus, a copying dominants strategy may, as often proposed for conformist transmission, and perhaps in concert with it, restrict the accumulation of traditions within chimpanzee communities whilst maintaining cultural diversity.

KW - Transmission biases

KW - Social learning strategies

KW - Chimpanzees

KW - Culture

KW - Cultural diversity

UR - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109051381400110X#s0075

U2 - 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.09.002

DO - 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.09.002

M3 - Article

VL - 36

SP - 65

EP - 72

JO - Evolution and Human Behavior

JF - Evolution and Human Behavior

SN - 1090-5138

IS - 1

ER -

Related by author

  1. The reach of gene-culture coevolution in animals

    Whitehead, H., Laland, K. N., Rendell, L., Thorogood, R. & Whiten, A., 3 Jun 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 10 p., 2405.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Animal cultures matter for conservation

    Brakes, P., Dall, S. R. X., Aplin, L. M., Bearhop, S., Carroll, E. L., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J. K. B., Garland, E. C., Keith, S. A., McGregor, P. K., Mesnick, S. L., Noad, M. J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Robbins, M. M., Simmonds, M. P., Spina, F., Thornton, A., Wade, P. R., Whiting, M. J. & 5 others, Williams, J., Rendell, L., Whitehead, H., Whiten, A. & Rutz, C., 8 Mar 2019, In : Science. 363, 6431, p. 1032-1034 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. ‘Over-imitation’: a review and appraisal of a decade of research

    Hoehl, S., Keupp, S., Schleihauf, H., McGuigan, N., Buttelmann, D. & Whiten, A., Mar 2019, In : Developmental Review. 51, p. 90-108

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Conformity and over-imitation: an integrative review of variant forms of hyper-reliance on social learning

    Whiten, A., 14 Jan 2019, Advances in the Study of Behavior. Elsevier, (Advances in the Study of Behavior).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Related by journal

  1. Chimpanzees and children avoid mutual defection in a social dilemma

    Sánchez-Amaro, A., Duguid, S., Call, J. & Tomasello, M., 4 Aug 2018, In : Evolution and Human Behavior. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Acquisition of a socially learned tool use sequence in chimpanzees: implications for cumulative culture

    Vale, G. L., Davis, S. J., Lambeth, S. P., Schapiro, S. J. & Whiten, A., Sep 2017, In : Evolution and Human Behavior. 38, 5, p. 635-644 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Aggressor or protector? Experiences and perceptions of violence predict preferences for masculinity

    Borras Guevara, M. L., Batres, C. & Perrett, D. I., Jul 2017, In : Evolution and Human Behavior. 38, 4, p. 481-489 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Beneath the beard: do facial morphometrics influence the strength of judgments of men's beardedness?

    Dixson, B. J. W., Lee, A. J., Sherlock, J. M. & Talamas, S. N., Mar 2017, In : Evolution and Human Behavior. 38, 2, p. 164-174 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Perception of strength from 3D faces is linked to facial cues of physique

    Holzleitner, I. J. & Perrett, D. I., May 2016, In : Evolution and Human Behavior. 37, 3, p. 217-229 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 161258503

Top