Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Social learning and culture in child and chimpanzee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A few decades ago we knew next to nothing about the behavior of our closest animal relative, the chimpanzee, but long term field studies have since revealed an undreamt of richness in the diversity of their cultural traditions across Africa. These discoveries have been complemented by a substantial suite of experimental studies, now bridging to the wild through field experiments. Together these studies delineate a growing set of commonalities between the phenomena of social learning and culture in the lives of chimpanzees and humans, particularly children, where direct chimp/child comparison studies have been completed. These commonalities in social learning inform our understanding of the evolutionary roots of the cultural propensities the species share. At the same time, such comparisons throw into clearer relief the distinctive features of the distinctive human capacity for cumulative cultural evolution, and new research has begun to probe the key psychological attributes that may explain it.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-154
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Psychology
Volume68
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

    Research areas

  • Culture, Tradition, Social learning, Imitation, Chimpanzees, Primates

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Social learning from media: the need for a culturally diachronic developmental psychology

    Nielsen, M., Fong, F. T. K. & Whiten, A., 24 Jun 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) Advances in Child Development and Behavior. JAI Press

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  2. A deepening understanding of animal culture suggests lessons for conservation

    Brakes, P., Carroll, E. L., Dall, S., Keith, S., McGregor, P., Mesnick, S., Noad, M., Rendell, L., Robbins, M., Rutz, C., Thorton, A., Whiten, A., Whiting, M., Aplin, L., Bearhop, S., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Simmonds, M. & 5 others, Spina, F., Wade, P., Whithead, H., Williams, J. & Garland, E. C., 28 Apr 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1949, 10 p., 20202718.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  3. The psychological reach of culture in animals’ lives

    Whiten, A., 27 Apr 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Current Directions in Psychological Science. OnlineFirst, 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. The burgeoning reach of animal culture

    Whiten, A., 2 Apr 2021, In: Science. 372, 6537, eabe6514.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  5. 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

Related by journal

  1. Understanding human cognitive uniqueness

    Laland, K. & Seed, A., 4 Jan 2021, In: Annual Review of Psychology . 72, 1, p. 689-716 28 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 241560632

Top