Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Selective and Evolutionary Aspects of Animal Play

Robert Fagen
The American Naturalist
Vol. 108, No. 964 (Nov. - Dec., 1974), pp. 850-858
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2459614
Page Count: 9
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($19.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Selective and Evolutionary Aspects of Animal Play
Preview not available

Abstract

Earlier literature of play is interpreted as a dialogue between functionalists, whose primary concern is with cause, mechanism, or purpose, and structuralists, who stress the form and temporal patterning of behavior. The functionalist view of play as scientific research performed by animals is contrasted with the structuralist view of play as that aspect of behavioral ontogeny in which partially or totally mastered responses are varied and combined into new sequences. Play appears to constitute behavioral experimentation and may contribute behavioral variation to evolution in higher vertebrates. Recent experiments with human children and with model systems support these hypotheses. Selection for playfulness as such is a possibility and may occur even when observational learning provides a mechanism for transmission of new behaviors from innovator to unrelated conspecifics.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
850
    850
  • Thumbnail: Page 
851
    851
  • Thumbnail: Page 
852
    852
  • Thumbnail: Page 
853
    853
  • Thumbnail: Page 
854
    854
  • Thumbnail: Page 
855
    855
  • Thumbnail: Page 
856
    856
  • Thumbnail: Page 
857
    857
  • Thumbnail: Page 
858
    858