Laboratory studies of imitation/field studies of tradition: Towards a synthesis in animal social learning
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Here I discuss: (1) historical precedents that have resulted in comparative psychologists accepting the two-action method as the "gold standard" in laboratory investigations of imitation learning, (2) evidence suggesting that the two-action procedure may not be adequate to answer questions concerning the role of imitation in the development of traditional behaviors of animals living in natural habitat, and (3) an alternative approach to the laboratory study of imitation that might increase the relevance of laboratory studies of imitation to the work of behavioral ecologists/primatologists interested in animal traditions and their relationship to human cumulative culture. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Tribute to Tom Zentall.
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