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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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Developmental Methods for Studying Social Learning

Developmental Methods for Studying Social Learning

(p.172) Chapter 7 Developmental Methods for Studying Social Learning
Social Learning

William Hoppitt

Kevin N. Laland

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes developmental methods for studying social learning. Developmental approaches can be broadly divided into two types. The first type includes approaches that involve collecting observational data on the development of a trait and the opportunities that arise for social learning, as well as attempting to infer the role of social learning. The second consists of developmental methods that involve experimental manipulations. The chapter begins by discussing some of the methods that have been applied to observational data on the development of traits in order to elucidate the social influences on development. In particular, it considers approaches for describing the developmental process, modeling the probability of acquisition and time of acquisition, modeling the proficiency of trait performance, and modeling option choice. The chapter also evaluates the limitations of observational data and concludes with an overview of experimental manipulation methods, including diffusion experiments, manipulation of social experience, and translocation experiments.

Keywords:   social learning, developmental methods, observational data, experimental manipulations, acquisition, option choice, diffusion experiments, social experience, translocation experiments

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