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Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens)

Overview of attention for article published in Animal Cognition, November 2004
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (85th percentile)

Citations

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459 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
577 Mendeley
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4 CiteULike
Title
Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens)
Published in
Animal Cognition, November 2004
DOI 10.1007/s10071-004-0239-6
Pubmed ID
Authors

Victoria Horner, Andrew Whiten

Abstract

This study explored whether the tendency of chimpanzees and children to use emulation or imitation to solve a tool-using task was a response to the availability of causal information. Young wild-born chimpanzees from an African sanctuary and 3- to 4-year-old children observed a human demonstrator use a tool to retrieve a reward from a puzzle-box. The demonstration involved both causally relevant and irrelevant actions, and the box was presented in each of two conditions: opaque and clear. In the opaque condition, causal information about the effect of the tool inside the box was not available, and hence it was impossible to differentiate between the relevant and irrelevant parts of the demonstration. However, in the clear condition causal information was available, and subjects could potentially determine which actions were necessary. When chimpanzees were presented with the opaque box, they reproduced both the relevant and irrelevant actions, thus imitating the overall structure of the task. When the box was presented in the clear condition they instead ignored the irrelevant actions in favour of a more efficient, emulative technique. These results suggest that emulation is the favoured strategy of chimpanzees when sufficient causal information is available. However, if such information is not available, chimpanzees are prone to employ a more comprehensive copy of an observed action. In contrast to the chimpanzees, children employed imitation to solve the task in both conditions, at the expense of efficiency. We suggest that the difference in performance of chimpanzees and children may be due to a greater susceptibility of children to cultural conventions, perhaps combined with a differential focus on the results, actions and goals of the demonstrator.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 577 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 20 3%
United Kingdom 6 1%
Portugal 3 <1%
Germany 3 <1%
Denmark 2 <1%
Brazil 2 <1%
Australia 2 <1%
Sweden 2 <1%
Canada 2 <1%
Other 8 1%
Unknown 527 91%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 145 25%
Student > Bachelor 103 18%
Researcher 86 15%
Student > Master 81 14%
Student > Doctoral Student 30 5%
Other 131 23%
Unknown 1 <1%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 245 42%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 139 24%
Social Sciences 54 9%
Unspecified 47 8%
Arts and Humanities 19 3%
Other 72 12%
Unknown 1 <1%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 32. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 27 March 2019.
All research outputs
#497,943
of 13,255,708 outputs
Outputs from Animal Cognition
#140
of 975 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#483,137
of 12,621,486 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Animal Cognition
#136
of 948 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,255,708 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 975 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.9. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 12,621,486 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 948 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.