CULTURE AND CULTURES S ocial learning takes various forms. Some behaviour is acquired because animals are imprinted onto a habitat; for instance, young salmon and migratory birds are attached to the habitat where they were born. Animals learn by following adults. Some behavioural traits develop only if the young observe some behaviour. For example, young female rhesus macaques need companions in order to develop normal maternal behavior later in life . The most elaborate form of social learning happens when individuals imitate the behaviour of members of their species or when the models (often parents) teach their offspring by reinforcing appropriate behaviour. Social learning can be called ‘culture’ and is the object of this course. Social learning also exists among non-human animals. Culture We act in specific ways because a) we are biological organisms and b) we have learned to act in these ways. Learned ways of acting can be referred to as culture . Some learning is explicit and conscious; more
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