Introduction and Basic Concepts

  • Hugh Lytton


Living in groups imposes its own necessities and patterns of existence. With many animals, these are transmitted by genes or by physiological influences. In the case of social insects, such as bees, for instance, the quality of food given to larvae determines their behavior as either queens or workers. As we ascend the phylogenetic scale, however, the role of learning in the acquisition of social acts assumes greater importance with increasing brain size and complexity, and the young depend more on their parents to transmit these patterns by action and gesture. This process has been called socialization and it exists in one form or another in mammals but has been studied particularly in primates (see Wilson, 1975, for an account). The capacity for verbal communication in humans adds a special dimension of elaboration and intensity to the process and increases the learning component manifoldly.


Child Behavior Ecological Validity Trait Analysis Naturalistic Observation Home Observation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh Lytton
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of CalgaryCanada

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