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Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees

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Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees. / Horner, Victoria; Proctor, Darby; Bonnie, Kristin E.; Whiten, Andrew; de Waal, Frans B. M.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 5, No. 5, e10625, 19.05.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Horner, V, Proctor, D, Bonnie, KE, Whiten, A & de Waal, FBM 2010, 'Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees' PLoS One, vol 5, no. 5, e10625. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625

APA

Horner, V., Proctor, D., Bonnie, K. E., Whiten, A., & de Waal, F. B. M. (2010). Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees. PLoS One, 5(5), [e10625]. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625

Vancouver

Horner V, Proctor D, Bonnie KE, Whiten A, de Waal FBM. Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees. PLoS One. 2010 May 19;5(5). e10625. Available from, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625

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Horner, Victoria; Proctor, Darby; Bonnie, Kristin E.; Whiten, Andrew; de Waal, Frans B. M. / Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 5, No. 5, e10625, 19.05.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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@article{a31f38ddda534eaca110466a2e2e31d3,
title = "Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees",
abstract = "Humans follow the example of prestigious, high-status individuals much more readily than that of others, such as when we copy the behavior of village elders, community leaders, or celebrities. This tendency has been declared uniquely human, yet remains untested in other species. Experimental studies of animal learning have typically focused on the learning mechanism rather than on social issues, such as who learns from whom. The latter, however, is essential to understanding how habits spread. Here we report that when given opportunities to watch alternative solutions to a foraging problem performed by two different models of their own species, chimpanzees preferentially copy the method shown by the older, higher-ranking individual with a prior track-record of success. Since both solutions were equally difficult, shown an equal number of times by each model and resulted in equal rewards, we interpret this outcome as evidence that the preferred model in each of the two groups tested enjoyed a significant degree of prestige in terms of whose example other chimpanzees chose to follow. Such prestige-based cultural transmission is a phenomenon shared with our own species. If similar biases operate in wild animal populations, the adoption of culturally transmitted innovations may be significantly shaped by the characteristics of performers.",
keywords = "Pan troglodytes, Wild chimpanzees, Tool use, Transmission, Rank, Innovation, Strategies, Behaviour, Skills",
author = "Victoria Horner and Darby Proctor and Bonnie, {Kristin E.} and Andrew Whiten and {de Waal}, {Frans B. M.}",
year = "2010",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0010625",
volume = "5",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "5",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees

AU - Horner,Victoria

AU - Proctor,Darby

AU - Bonnie,Kristin E.

AU - Whiten,Andrew

AU - de Waal,Frans B. M.

PY - 2010/5/19

Y1 - 2010/5/19

N2 - Humans follow the example of prestigious, high-status individuals much more readily than that of others, such as when we copy the behavior of village elders, community leaders, or celebrities. This tendency has been declared uniquely human, yet remains untested in other species. Experimental studies of animal learning have typically focused on the learning mechanism rather than on social issues, such as who learns from whom. The latter, however, is essential to understanding how habits spread. Here we report that when given opportunities to watch alternative solutions to a foraging problem performed by two different models of their own species, chimpanzees preferentially copy the method shown by the older, higher-ranking individual with a prior track-record of success. Since both solutions were equally difficult, shown an equal number of times by each model and resulted in equal rewards, we interpret this outcome as evidence that the preferred model in each of the two groups tested enjoyed a significant degree of prestige in terms of whose example other chimpanzees chose to follow. Such prestige-based cultural transmission is a phenomenon shared with our own species. If similar biases operate in wild animal populations, the adoption of culturally transmitted innovations may be significantly shaped by the characteristics of performers.

AB - Humans follow the example of prestigious, high-status individuals much more readily than that of others, such as when we copy the behavior of village elders, community leaders, or celebrities. This tendency has been declared uniquely human, yet remains untested in other species. Experimental studies of animal learning have typically focused on the learning mechanism rather than on social issues, such as who learns from whom. The latter, however, is essential to understanding how habits spread. Here we report that when given opportunities to watch alternative solutions to a foraging problem performed by two different models of their own species, chimpanzees preferentially copy the method shown by the older, higher-ranking individual with a prior track-record of success. Since both solutions were equally difficult, shown an equal number of times by each model and resulted in equal rewards, we interpret this outcome as evidence that the preferred model in each of the two groups tested enjoyed a significant degree of prestige in terms of whose example other chimpanzees chose to follow. Such prestige-based cultural transmission is a phenomenon shared with our own species. If similar biases operate in wild animal populations, the adoption of culturally transmitted innovations may be significantly shaped by the characteristics of performers.

KW - Pan troglodytes

KW - Wild chimpanzees

KW - Tool use

KW - Transmission

KW - Rank

KW - Innovation

KW - Strategies

KW - Behaviour

KW - Skills

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625

M3 - Article

VL - 5

JO - PLoS One

T2 - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 5

M1 - e10625

ER -

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