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Nonhuman Primate Learning: The Importance of Learning from an Evolutionary Perspective

Frank E. Poirier and L. Kaye Hussey
Anthropology & Education Quarterly
Vol. 13, No. 2, Anthropology of Learning (Summer, 1982), pp. 133-148
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3216627
Page Count: 16
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Nonhuman Primate Learning: The Importance of Learning from an Evolutionary Perspective
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Abstract

Learning is adaptive, and throughout their evolutionary history primates have been programmed for ease of learning. Comparative studies of learning are of limited value if they ignore the biological referrent. Primates have a potential for learning broad sets of new tasks. Age, sex, social structure, and kinship relationships affect the learning process. An anthropology of learning must be an anthropology of the evolution of learning. This perspective raises a number of research questions for future investigation.

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