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Social Facilitation and Allelomimetic Behavior in Dogs

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1. The hypothesis is presented that goal-oriented behavior in conjunction with allelomimetic behavior should result in social facilitation in the absence of competion. 2. Sixteen purebred dogs representing five breeds were tested singly and in pairs, running through an alley for a reward of food and petting. 3. Preliminary experiments indicated that first experiences and early habits were extremely important in establishing goal oriented behavior. 4. When dogs were run repeatedly with the same animal the results indicated that social facilitation amounting to approximately 18 % was the result, the chief measurable effect being on the slower animals. The data also indicated the presence of mutual mimicry. 5. It is concluded that the data and corroborative evidence from other sources are consistent with the hypothesis presented, but that more evidence is needed to establish it on a general basis. 6. Some possible comparisons to human situations are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory Bar Harbor, Maine


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