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Social LearningAn Introduction to Mechanisms, Methods, and Models$
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William Hoppitt and Kevin N. Laland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150703

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150703.001.0001

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Methods for Studying Social Learning in the Laboratory

Methods for Studying Social Learning in the Laboratory

(p.33) Chapter 3 Methods for Studying Social Learning in the Laboratory
Social Learning

William Hoppitt

Kevin N. Laland

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes research methods for investigating social learning in the laboratory. In recent decades laboratory experiments have been conducted to explore the population-level aspects of social transmission; an example is the investigation of aspects of tradition, diffusion, and innovation. This chapter discusses traditional social learning experimental designs, studies of linear transmission chains and replacement transmission chains, and controlled diffusion studies. It also considers some recent neuroscientific analyses of social learning, which extend the study of social learning beyond the behavioral level. In particular, it examines innovation, the biological bases of social learning, neuroendocrinological studies, social learning of fear, and neural mechanisms of observational learning.

Keywords:   research methods, social learning, laboratory experiments, social transmission, transmission chains, controlled diffusion, innovation, neuroendocrinological studies, fear, observational learning

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