Detecting agency among cotton-top tamarins (sanguinus oedipus) through the social transmission of food preference

Open Access
Anderson, Nicole Christyn
Area of Honors:
Animal Sciences
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Daniel J Weiss, Thesis Supervisor
  • Chad Daniel Dechow, Honors Advisor
  • Intentionality
  • food preference
  • intention
  • tamarin
The theory of social learning has been well studied in animals. This paper attempts to connect this theory to that of intentionality via studying the social influence of food preferences between individuals. The experiment was divided into a volitional and non-volitional condition. Observers watched as a Demonstrator was given a choice between two foods and then were allowed to select between the foods themselves. The independent variable was whether the Demonstrator had access to both of the foods or just one (from the Observer’s standpoint, this could not be distinguished). Analyses were based on the Observer’s resultant food choice. Only one Observer produced data of potentially significant value, suggesting an ability to perceive the intentions of another conspecific.