Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Do children copy an expert or a majority? Examining selective learning in instrumental and normative contexts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Emily R. R. Burdett, Amanda J. Lucas, Daphna Buchsbaum, Nicola McGuigan, Lara A. Wood, Andrew Whiten

School/Research organisations

Abstract

This study examined whether instrumental and normative learning contexts differentially influence 4- to 7-year-old children’s social learning strategies; specifically, their dispositions to copy an expert versus a majority consensus. Experiment 1 (N = 44) established that children copied a relatively competent “expert” individual over an incompetent individual in both kinds of learning context. In experiment 2 (N = 80) we then tested whether children would copy a competent individual versus a majority, in each of the two different learning contexts. Results showed that individual children differed in strategy, preferring with significant consistency across two different test trials to copy either the competent individual or the majority. This study is the first to show that children prefer to copy more competent individuals when shown competing methods of achieving an instrumental goal (Experiment 1) and provides new evidence that children, at least in our “individualist” culture, may consistently express either a competency or majority bias in learning both instrumental and normative information (Experiment 2). This effect was similar in the instrumental and normative learning contexts we applied.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0164698
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2016

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Chimpanzees’ behavioral flexibility, social tolerance and use of tool-composites in a progressively challenging foraging problem

    Harrison, R. A., van Leeuwen, E. & Whiten, A., 19 Feb 2021, In: iScience. 24, 2, 102033.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Why do chimpanzees have diverse behavioral repertoires yet lack more complex cultures? Invention and social information use in a cumulative task

    Vale, G. L., McGuigan, N., Burdett, E., Lambeth, S. P., Lucas, A., Rawlings, B., Schapiro, S. J., Watson, S. K. & Whiten, A., 16 Dec 2020, In: Evolution and Human Behavior. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Does culture shape hunting behavior in bonobos?

    Whiten, A., 1 Sep 2020, In: eLife. 9, 3 p., e62104.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

  4. Refining our understanding of the "elephant in the room"

    Whiten, A., 10 Aug 2020, In: The Behavioral and brain sciences. 43, p. e182

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. A unified account of culture should accommodate animal cultures

    Whiten, A., 28 May 2020, In: Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 43, e118.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Ecosystem engineers drive differing microbial community composition in intertidal estuarine sediments

    Wyness, A. J., Fortune, I., Blight, A. J., Browne, P., Hartley, M., Holden, M. & Paterson, D. M., 19 Feb 2021, In: PLoS ONE. 16, 2, 20 p., e0240952.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Performance evaluation of survival regression models in analysing Swedish dental implant complication data with frailty

    Fagbamigbe, A. F., Karlsson, K., Derks, J. & Petzold, M., 7 Jan 2021, In: PLoS ONE. 16, 1, 16 p., e0245111.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Are in vitro and in silico approaches used appropriately for animal-based major depressive disorder research?

    Carvalho, C., Varela, S. A. M., Marques, T. A., Knight, A. & Vicente, L., 24 Jun 2020, In: PLoS ONE. 15, 6, 6 p., e0233954.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Artists on the edge of the world: an integrated approach to the study of Magdalenian engraved stone plaquettes from Jersey (Channel Islands)

    Bello, S. M., Blinkhorn, E., Needham, A., Bates, M., Duffy, S., Little, A., Pope, M., Scott, B., Shaw, A., Welch, M. D., Kinnaird, T., Millar, L., Robinson, R. & Conneller, C., 19 Aug 2020, In: PLoS ONE. 15, 8, 40 p., e0236875.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Classification and characterisation of livestock production systems in northern Tanzania

    de Glanville, W. A., Davis, A., Allan, K. J., Buza, J., Claxton, J. R., Crump, J. A., Halliday, J. E. B., Johnson, P. C. D., Kibona, T. J., Mmbaga, B. T., Swai, E. S., Uzzell, C. B., Yoder, J., Sharp, J. & Cleaveland, S., 30 Dec 2020, In: PLoS ONE. 15, 12, 25 p., e0229478.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Joanna Louise Kershaw (Reviewer)

    18 Mar 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  2. PLoS One (Journal)

    Paula Jean Miles (Member of editorial board)

    2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Catharine Penelope Cross (Member of editorial board)

    1 Sep 2018 → …

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

  4. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)

    23 May 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  5. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Barbara Dritschel (Member of editorial board)

    May 2018 → …

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

ID: 247035848

Top