Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Chimpanzees demonstrate individual differences in social information use

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Stuart K. Watson, Gillian L. Vale, Lydia M. Hopper, Lewis G. Dean, Rachel L. Kendal, Elizabeth E. Price, Lara A. Wood, Sarah J. Davis, Steven J. Schapiro, Susan P. Lambeth, Andrew Whiten

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Studies of transmission biases in social learning have greatly informed our understanding of how behaviour patterns may diffuse through animal populations, yet within-species inter-individual variation in social information use has received little attention and remains poorly understood. We have addressed this question by examining individual performances across multiple experiments with the same population of primates. We compiled a data set spanning 16 social learning studies (26 experimental conditions) carried out at the same study site over a 12-year period, incorporating a total of 167 chimpanzees. We applied a binary scoring system to code each participant’s performance in each study according to whether they demonstrated evidence of using social information from conspecifics to solve the experimental task or not (Social Information Score – ‘SIS’). Bayesian binomial mixed effects models were then used to estimate the extent to which individual differences influenced SIS, together with any effects of sex, rearing history, age, prior involvement in research and task type on SIS. An estimate of repeatability found that approximately half of the variance in SIS was accounted for by individual identity, indicating that individual differences play a critical role in the social learning behaviour of chimpanzees. According to the model that best fit the data, females were, depending on their rearing history, 15-24% more likely to use social information to solve experimental tasks than males. However, there was no strong evidence of an effect of age or research experience, and pedigree records indicated that SIS was not a strongly heritable trait. Our study offers a novel, transferable method for the study of individual differences in social learning.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalAnimal Cognition
VolumeIn press
Early online date19 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • Chimpanzee, Culture, Social learning, Individual differences, Meta-analysis, sex differences

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

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. Animal Cognition (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 201831 Dec 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Animal Cognition (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Animal Cognition (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Member of editorial board)
    2015 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Animal Cognition (Journal)

    Josep Call (Member of editorial board)
    2006 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Animal Cognition (Journal)

    Vincent Janik (Member of editorial board)
    2004 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Absolute brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function

    Horschler, D. J., Hare, B., Call, J., Kaminski, J., Miklosi, A. & MacLean, E. L., Mar 2019, In : Animal Cognition. 22, 2, p. 187-198 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Evidence for discrimination between feeding sounds of familiar fish and unfamiliar mammal-eating killer whale ecotypes by long-finned pilot whales

    Curé, C., Isojunno, S., I Vester, H., Visser, F., Oudejans, M., Biassoni, N., Massenet, M., Barluet de Beauchesne, L., J Wensveen, P., Sivle, L. D., Tyack, P. L. & Miller, P. J. O., Sep 2019, In : Animal Cognition. 22, 5, p. 863-882 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Innovative problem solving in great apes: the role of visual feedback in the floating peanut task

    Ebel, S. J., Schmelz, M., Herrmann, E. & Call, J., Sep 2019, In : Animal Cognition. 22, 5, p. 791-805 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Social learning about construction behaviour via an artefact

    Breen, A. J., Bonneaud, C. C., Healy, S. D. & Guillette, L. M., May 2019, In : Animal Cognition. 22, 3, p. 305–315 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Stereotypic horses (Equus caballus) are not cognitively impaired

    Briefer Freymond, S., Ruet, A., Grivaz, M., Fuentes, C., Zuberbühler, K., Bachmann, I. & Briefer, E. F., Jan 2019, In : Animal Cognition. 22, 1, p. 17-33 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 253380308

Top