Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Andreas KoenigEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_705-1



An ordering pattern for animals or conditions that is based on age. Often the “value” of different age-grades is thought to increase with age, also referred to as age-positive or positive age-graded pattern. Or the value first increases and then decreases with age, referred to as inverted U-shaped or J-shaped pattern. The latter can turn into an age-inversed pattern, also called negative age-graded.


In its most general form, the term “age-graded” refers to an age pattern underlying a particular condition or a change (i) in an organizational social characteristic; (ii) of an anatomical, physiological, or cognitive feature; or (iii) of a behavior or a behavioral syndrome. Specifically, in the social sciences, the term “age grade” is used to describe an organizational pattern in a society. In developmental biology and individual life histories, age-gradedness is common, because an organism undergoes predictable, age-related changes, for example...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyStony Brook University SUNYStony BrookUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Caroline Leuchtenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Institute of Education, Science and TechnologySanta MariaBrazil