Show simple item record

Files in this item


Item metadata

dc.contributor.authorWhiten, Andrew
dc.identifier.citationWhiten , A 2021 , ' The psychological reach of culture in animals’ lives ' , Current Directions in Psychological Science , vol. OnlineFirst .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 272210407
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 517154af-c2e6-4e01-930e-825fa492582b
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-2426-5890/work/93161301
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85105537425
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000649151300001
dc.description.abstractCulture – the totality of traditions acquired in a community by social learning from others – has increasingly been found to be pervasive not only in humans’ but in many animals’ lives. Compared to learning on one’s own initiative, learning from others can be very much safer and more efficient, as the wisdom already accumulated by others is assimilated. This article offers an overview of often surprising recent discoveries charting the reach of culture across an ever-expanding diversity of species as well an extensive variety of behavioral domains, and throughout an animal’s life. The psychological reach of culture is reflected in the knowledge and skills an animal thus acquires, via an array of different social learning processes. Social learning is often further guided by a suite of adaptive psychological biases such as conformity and learning from optimal models. In humans, cumulative cultural change over generations has generated the complex cultural phenomena we witness today. Animal cultures have been thought to lack this cumulative power, but recent findings suggest that elementary versions may be important in animals’ lives.
dc.relation.ispartofCurrent Directions in Psychological Scienceen
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
dc.subjectSocial learningen
dc.subjectCultural evolutionen
dc.subjectCumulative cultureen
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.titleThe psychological reach of culture in animals’ livesen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record