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Experimental studies of behavioural flexibility and cultural transmission in chimpanzees and children
|dc.contributor.author||Harrison, Rachel Anne|
|dc.coverage.spatial||xii, 249 p.||en_US|
|dc.description.abstract||In this thesis, I explore two subjects of importance to the study of cultural evolution and cumulative culture; behavioural flexibility in chimpanzees, and social transmission in human children. In Chapter 1, I give an overview of current literature on the cognitive requirements of cumulative culture, with a focus on behavioural flexibility as a capacity which facilitates cumulative culture. I also explore a current discussion in the field of cultural evolution; namely the debate between “standard” and cultural attraction-based approaches to the study of cultural evolution. Chapter 2 is an experimental investigation of the capacity of chimpanzees to respond flexibly to a changing foraging task. This study found that chimpanzees did alter their behaviour, but to a limited degree. In Chapter 3 I provide the same artificial foraging task to two further groups of chimpanzees, at a sanctuary in Zambia. This study again found that chimpanzees altered their behaviour in response to task constraints, but also found a significant difference in performance between the two groups tested. Chapter 4 explores one potential factor which may contribute to these group differences; social tolerance. Data on social tolerance from all three groups of chimpanzees is presented. In Chapter 5, I turn to another key factor in the study of culture and also address the cultural attraction approach, by conducting a transmission chain study of four- to eight-year-old human children, comparing the transmission of a symbolic and non-symbolic image. I found that neither image was reliably transmitted along transmission chains. Finally, in Chapter 6, I discuss the findings of the thesis, and suggest that future work considers multiple demographic groups, whether this means the inclusion of multiple groups of apes in studies of non-human primate cognition, or the consideration of how cultural behaviours might be transformed when transmitted by human children rather than adults.||en_US|
|dc.publisher||University of St Andrews|
|dc.subject.lcsh||Cognition and culture||en|
|dc.subject.lcsh||Social evolution in animals||en|
|dc.title||Experimental studies of behavioural flexibility and cultural transmission in chimpanzees and children||en_US|
|dc.type.qualificationname||PhD Doctor of Philosophy||en_US|
|dc.publisher.institution||The University of St Andrews||en_US|
|dc.rights.embargoreason||Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Electronic copy restricted until 28th January 2021||en|
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