Consistent individual differences in human social learning strategies

Molleman, Lucas and Van den Berg, Pieter and Weissing, Franz J. (2014) Consistent individual differences in human social learning strategies. Nature Communications (5). 3570/1-3570/1. ISSN 2041-1723

[img]
Preview
PDF (Article) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (351kB) | Preview

Abstract

Social learning has allowed humans to build up extensive cultural repertoires, enabling them to adapt to a wide variety of environmental and social conditions. However, it is unclear which social learning strategies people use, especially in social contexts where their payoffs depend

on the behaviour of others. Here we show experimentally that individuals differ in their social learning strategies and that they tend to employ the same learning strategy irrespective of the interaction context. Payoff-based learners focus on their peers’ success, while decision-based

learners disregard payoffs and exclusively focus on their peers’ past behaviour. These individual differences may be of considerable importance for cultural evolution. By means of a simple model, we demonstrate that groups harbouring individuals with different learning strategies may be faster in adopting technological innovations and can be more efficient through successful role differentiation. Our study highlights the importance of individual variation for human interactions and sheds new light on the dynamics of cultural evolution.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4570
Depositing User: Molleman, Lucas
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 11:18
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 14:59
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/31284

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View