- Oxford Library of Psychology
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editors
- Toward Bridging Gaps: Finding Commonality between Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology
- Why Behaviorism Isn't Satanism
- Confronting Language, Representation, and Belief: A Limited Defense of Mental Continuity
- Evolved Cognitive Adaptations
- Convergent Evolution of Cognition in Corvids, Apes and Other Animals
- Social Complexity and Intelligence
- Cephalopod Intelligence
- Cold-Blooded Cognition: Reptilian Cognitive Abilities
- Cetacean Cognitive Specializations
- Socio-Cognitive Specializations in Nonhuman Primates: Evidence from Gestural Communication
- The Evolution of Canine Cognition
- Episodic Memory and Planning
- Comparative Mental Time Travel: Is There a Cognitive Divide between Humans and Animals in Episodic Memory and Planning?
- Animal Models of Human Cognition
- Metacognition across Species
- Symbolic Communication in the Grey Parrot
- Communication in Nonhuman Primates
- Female Preference Functions Provide a Window into Cognition, the Evolution of Communication, and Speciation in Plant-Feeding Insects
- Apes and the Evolution of Language: Taking Stock of 40 Years of Research
- The Phylogeny and Ontogeny of Prosocial Behavior
- The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Cooperation
- Culture and the Evolution of Human Sociality
- The Evolution of Morality: Which Aspects of Human Moral Concerns Are Shared With Nonhuman Primates?
- The Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology of Social Learning and Culture
- Cognitive Imitation: Insights into the Development and Evolution of Social Learning
- The Ecology and Evolution of Social Behavior and Cognition in Primates
- The Evolution of a Cooperative Social Mind
- Darwin, Tinbergen, and the Evolution of Comparative Cognition
- Comparative Evolutionary Psychology: A United Discipline for the Study of Evolved Traits
Abstract and Keywords
Social learning allows for the transmission of information between individuals and, potentially, across generations. In addition to increasing the efficiency by which new behaviors are learned it can also facilitate the propagation of behavioral traditions and, ultimately, culture. In the first half of this chapter we describe the social learning mechanisms that define how information is transmitted, under what circumstances social learning is advantageous, and provide an evolutionary perspective by illustrating different species' propensities for social learning. Through the second half of this chapter we compare the behavioral traditions observed among animals in the wild. We discuss the defining features of human culture and whether any animals, other than ourselves, can be considered “cultural.” We conclude that although human material culture was long thought to be a defining hallmark of our species, current reports from both the wild and captivity have begun to dispel the notion that we are the only cultural beings.
Lydia M. Hopper, Language Research Center Georgia State University, Atlanta.
Andrew Whiten, Center for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution, The School of Psychology, The University of St. Andrews.
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