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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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Repertoire-Based Methods for Detecting and Quantifying Social Transmission

Repertoire-Based Methods for Detecting and Quantifying Social Transmission

(p.129) Chapter 6 Repertoire-Based Methods for Detecting and Quantifying Social Transmission
Social Learning

William Hoppitt

Kevin N. Laland

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes repertoire-based methods for detecting and quantifying the social transmission of behavior based on a “snapshot” of the behavioral repertoires of individuals or groups. Repertoire-based methods often take the form of a group contrast approach, where the researcher attempts to ascertain whether different groups have different behavioral repertoires, which might be caused by a higher rate of social transmission within groups than between them. The chapter first considers approaches that can be applied to determine whether group differences in behavior exist, including the group contrasts approach and the method of exclusion. In particular, it discusses methods for assessing the genetic hypothesis and the ecological hypothesis. It also presents a model-fitting approach and a causal modeling framework. Finally, it highlights the limitations of studying social learning based solely on differences in repertoires.

Keywords:   social transmission, behavior, behavioral repertoires, group contrasts approach, genetic hypothesis, ecological hypothesis, model-fitting approach, causal modeling

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