Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Learning Aspects of Hunting Via a Conformist Bias Could Promote Optimal Foraging in Lowland Nicaragua

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Cognition and Culture

AbstractGiven the complexity of human foraging strategies, especially hunting, recent attention has focused on the ways in which hunters acquire needed knowledge and skills, including via social learning. One potentially useful heuristic is a “conformist bias,” in which individuals identify and adopt the most common beliefs or strategies, but the usefulness of this heuristic depends on the accuracy of the information. In this study, 45 indigenous Mayangna and Miskito informants in Nicaragua were asked to rank 17 game species on the extent to which harvests of these species are associated with the use of hunting dogs. Consensus analysis indicates that there is high agreement on the rankings, and the aggregated rankings closely reflect harvest data from a yearlong study that documented the use of dogs and other hunting accessories (e.g., firearms). There were noteworthy outliers in the analysis, however, and a possible explanation is that informants are inferring that dogs are useful for some species because they are valuable for hunting perceptually similar species, as revealed by pile sort data. In addition, the consensus analysis reveals sex-related subgroup agreement in the rankings, but the aggregated rankings of neither men nor women seem to more closely correspond to the harvest data. Overall, these results suggest that a conformist learning bias could allow novice hunters to acquire information that would promote optimizing hunting strategies.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Cognition and Culture — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation