You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis 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
The American Naturalist
Vol. 108, No. 964 (Nov. - Dec., 1974), pp. 850-858
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2459614
Page Count: 9
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.
Preview not available
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.
The American Naturalist © 1974 The University of Chicago Press