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Social Facilitation and Allelomimetic Behavior in Dogs

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1. This experiment represents an attempt to distinguish effects of social facilitation which may be caused by mutual mimicry of goal-directed behavior, and those which may be caused by competition. 2. Unfamiliarity should interfere with mutual mimicry but should intensify competition. 3. Sixteen dogs of five different breeds were run in familiar and unfamiliar pairs as well as alone. 4. Dogs run repeatedly with the same unfamiliar animal showed no important differences in either mutual mimicry or social facilitation as compared with runs with familiar animals. 5. Dogs run with a. different animal on each day showed lessened mutual mimicry and social interference amounting to 73 %. 6. It is concluded that the results are consistent with the hypothesis that one factor which may produce social facilitation is mutual mimicry of goal-directed behavior, and that this factor may act independently of competition. 7. As a further hypothesis, it is proposed that this factor may exist in any species which shows allelomimetic behavior, and that it may modify the effects of competition in such species. 8. Certain comparisons with human situations are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory


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