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8. Action and Culture


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Unformatted text preview: unishment Form most animals the reward/punishment must occur immediately after the behavior for learning to occur (even a five second delay makes learning less efficient and with a ten second delay rats don’t learn). The expanded time processing of people stretches this out so they can learn from delay rewards and punishments. Yet speed and certainty of punishment are far more efficient than severity of punishment. 8 Punishment promotes faster learning (e.g.: experiment with students show that punishment promotes faster learning than rewarding). Conscious System The conscious mind learns mainly by trial and error. The ability to figure things out is an advantage of the conscious system and thus of the duplex mind itself. 9 One also learn vicariously, i.e. without having to see mistakes/success of others. Gossiping plays a role here. Eating Among human it is an action that can create social bounds. In some cultures norms stipulate that men don’t hurt people they share their food with. 10 Social learning Learning by trial and error wouldn’t be sufficient and fully effective (e.g. imagine one learning to drive by trial and error). Social learning by imitation can help. Observational learning is important among cultural animals. It relies on some form of identification (empathy) between the watcher and the watched. 11 Social transmission in behavior is common. Groups of chimps inhabiting the same habitat exhibit variants in social behavior (e.g. in grooming). Yet cumulative cultural evolution is rare in nature....
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