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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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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Social Learning Strategies

Social Learning Strategies

(p.196) Chapter 8 Social Learning Strategies
Social Learning

William Hoppitt

Kevin N. Laland

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on social learning strategies—functional rules specifying what, when, and who to copy. There are many plausible social learning strategies. Individuals might disproportionately copy when asocial learning would be difficult or costly, when they are uncertain of what to do, when the environment changes, when established behavior proves unproductive, and so forth. Likewise, animals might preferentially copy the dominant individual, the most successful individual, or a close relative. This chapter presents evidence for some of the better-studied learning heuristics and describes statistical procedures for identifying which social learning strategies are being deployed in a data set. It examines “who” strategies, which cover frequency-dependent biases, success biases, and kin and age biases, as well as “what” strategies, random copying, and statistical methods for detecting social learning strategies. Finally, it evaluates meta-strategies, best strategies, and hierarchical control.

Keywords:   social learning strategies, social learning, asocial learning, learning heuristics, frequency-dependent biases, success biases, random copying, statistical methods, meta-strategies, hierarchical control

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