Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Animal innovation defined and operationalized


Ramsey, Grant; Bastian, Meredith L; van Schaik, Carel P (2007). Animal innovation defined and operationalized. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 30(4):407-432.

Abstract

Innovation is a key component of most definitions of culture and intelligence. Additionally, innovations may affect a species' ecology and evolution. Nonetheless, conceptual and empirical work on innovation has only recently begun. In particular, largely because the existing operational definition (first occurrence in a population) requires long-term studies of populations, there has been no systematic study of innovation in wild animals. To facilitate such study, we have produced a new definition of innovation: Innovation is the process that generates in an individual a novel learned behavior that is not simply a consequence of social learning or environmental induction. Using this definition, we propose a new operational approach for distinguishing innovations in the field. The operational criteria employ information from the following sources: (1) the behavior's geographic and local prevalence and individual frequency; (2) properties of the behavior, such as the social role of the behavior, the context in which the behavior is exhibited, and its similarity to other behaviors; (3) changes in the occurrence of the behavior over time; and (4) knowledge of spontaneous or experimentally induced behavior in captivity. These criteria do not require long-term studies at a single site, but information from multiple populations of a species will generally be needed. These criteria are systematized into a dichotomous key that can be used to assess whether a behavior observed in the field is likely to be an innovation

Abstract

Innovation is a key component of most definitions of culture and intelligence. Additionally, innovations may affect a species' ecology and evolution. Nonetheless, conceptual and empirical work on innovation has only recently begun. In particular, largely because the existing operational definition (first occurrence in a population) requires long-term studies of populations, there has been no systematic study of innovation in wild animals. To facilitate such study, we have produced a new definition of innovation: Innovation is the process that generates in an individual a novel learned behavior that is not simply a consequence of social learning or environmental induction. Using this definition, we propose a new operational approach for distinguishing innovations in the field. The operational criteria employ information from the following sources: (1) the behavior's geographic and local prevalence and individual frequency; (2) properties of the behavior, such as the social role of the behavior, the context in which the behavior is exhibited, and its similarity to other behaviors; (3) changes in the occurrence of the behavior over time; and (4) knowledge of spontaneous or experimentally induced behavior in captivity. These criteria do not require long-term studies at a single site, but information from multiple populations of a species will generally be needed. These criteria are systematized into a dichotomous key that can be used to assess whether a behavior observed in the field is likely to be an innovation

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
82 citations in Web of Science®
96 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

147 downloads since deposited on 09 Oct 2018
109 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Life Sciences > Physiology
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 August 2007
Deposited On:09 Oct 2018 16:16
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 01:56
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0140-525X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0140525x07002373
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencecambridge101017S0140525X07002373 (Library Catalogue)
PubMed ID:18081967

Download

Green Open Access

Download PDF  'Animal innovation defined and operationalized'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF (Nationallizenz 142-005)
Size: 633kB
View at publisher