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Personality predicts the propensity for social learning in a wild primate

Carter, Alecia; Marshall, Harry H; Heinsohn, Robert; Cowlishaw, Guy

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Social learning can play a critical role in the reproduction and survival of social animals. Individual differences in the propensity for social learning are therefore likely to have important fitness consequences. We asked whether personality might underpin such individual variation in a wild population of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus). We used two field experiments in which individuals had the opportunity to learn how to solve a task froman experienced conspecific demonstrator: exploitation...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCarter, Alecia
dc.contributor.authorMarshall, Harry H
dc.contributor.authorHeinsohn, Robert
dc.contributor.authorCowlishaw, Guy
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T23:35:34Z
dc.identifier.issn2167-8359
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/69912
dc.description.abstractSocial learning can play a critical role in the reproduction and survival of social animals. Individual differences in the propensity for social learning are therefore likely to have important fitness consequences. We asked whether personality might underpin such individual variation in a wild population of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus). We used two field experiments in which individuals had the opportunity to learn how to solve a task froman experienced conspecific demonstrator: exploitation of a novel food and a hidden item of known food.We investigated whether the (1) time spent watching a demonstrator and (2) changes in task-solving behaviour after watching a demonstrator were related to personality.We found that both boldness and anxiety influenced individual performance in social learning. Specifically, bolder and more anxious animals were more likely to show a greater improvement in task solving after watching a demonstrator. In addition, there was also evidence that the acquisition of social information was not always correlated with its use. These findings present new insights into the costs and benefits of different personality types, and have important implications for the evolution of social learning.
dc.publisherPeerJ
dc.rightsAuthor/s retain copyright
dc.sourcePeerJ
dc.titlePersonality predicts the propensity for social learning in a wild primate
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume2014
dc.date.issued2014
local.identifier.absfor060301 - Animal Systematics and Taxonomy
local.identifier.ariespublicationU3488905xPUB2157
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCarter, Alecia, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMarshall, Harry H, Zoological Society of London
local.contributor.affiliationHeinsohn, Robert, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationCowlishaw, Guy, Zoological Society of London
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage22
local.identifier.doi10.7717/peerj.283
local.identifier.absseo960899 - Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of environments not elsewhere classified
dc.date.updated2015-12-10T11:43:09Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84897944381
local.identifier.thomsonID000347563200002
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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