Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Social LearningStrategies, Mechanisms, and Models

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter begins by summarizing the principal theoretical and empirical evidence for the deployment of particular social learning strategies. These are separated into "when" strategies, which dictate the circumstances under which individuals copy others and "who" strategies, which specify from whom individuals learn. The chapter then focuses on a specific case study - public information use in sticklebacks - as a vehicle to illustrate how strategies may be combined, and as a means to illustrate some of the complications and caveats that have recently emerged in this developing field. It goes on to consider how social learning strategy use relates to the psychological mechanisms underlying social learning. While these issues are essentially independent, the former relating to functional and the latter mechanistic categorizations of behavior, it is argued that not all strategies are consistent with all mechanisms, and that knowledge of one may shed a degree of light on the other.



Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition
EditorsThomas R. Zentall, Edward A. Wasserman
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199968701
ISBN (Print)9780195392661
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2012

    Research areas

  • Callitrichid monkey, Guppy, Innovation, Private information, Producer-scrounger, Public information, Rat, Social learning, Social learning strategies, Stickleback

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Social learning strategies: bridge-building between fields

    Kendal, R., Boogert, N., Rendell, L., Laland, K. N., Webster, M. & Jones, P. Jul 2018 In : Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 22, 7, p. 651-665 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Cognitive culture: Theoretical and empirical insights into social learning strategies

    Rendell, L. E., Fogarty, L., Hoppitt, W. J. E., Morgan, T. J. H., Webster, M. M. & Laland, K. N. 2011 In : Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 15, p. 68-76

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Lessons from Animal Teaching

    Hoppitt, W. J. E., Brown, G. R., Kendal, R., Rendell, L. E., Thornton, A., Webster, M. M. & Laland, K. N. Sep 2008 In : Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 23, 9, p. 486-493 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Experience shapes social information use in foraging fish

    Webster, M. M. & Laland, K. N. Dec 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 146, p. 63-70

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Presence of an audience and consistent interindividual differences affect archerfish shooting behaviour

    Jones, N. A. R., Webster, M., Templeton, C. N., Schuster, S. & Rendell, L. Jul 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 141, p. 95-103 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 255475576