A meta-analysis of interindividual differences in innovation

Amici, F, Widdig, A, Lehmann, J and Majolo, Bonaventura (2019) A meta-analysis of interindividual differences in innovation. Animal Behaviour, 155 . pp. 257-268. ISSN 0003-3472

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.07.008

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

The ability to innovate and the social transmission of innovations have played a central role in
human evolution. However, innovation is also crucial for other animals, by allowing them to cope with novel socioecological challenges. Although innovation plays such a central role in animals’ lives, we still do not know the conditions required for innovative behaviour to emerge. Here, we focused on interindividual differences in innovation by (1) extensively reviewing existing literature on innovative behaviour in animals and (2) quantitatively testing the different evolutionary hypotheses that have been proposed to explain interindividual variation in innovation propensity during foraging tasks. We ran a series of phylogenetically controlled mixed-effects meta-regression models to determine which hypotheses (if any) are supported by currently available empirical studies. Our analyses show that innovation is more common in individuals that are older and belong
to the larger sex, but also in more neophilic and/or explorative individuals. Moreover, these effects change depending on the study setting (i.e. wild versus captive). Our results provide no clear support to the excess of energy or the bad competitor hypotheses and suggest that study setting and interindividual differences in traits related to personality are also important predictors of innovation.

Keywords:Animal cognition, Innovation, Animal culture
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:37244
Deposited On:26 Sep 2019 10:40

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