Browsing by Subject "social learning"

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  • Almgren, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Aims. The usage of wild edible wild plants is trendy nowadays, affordable, healthy and ecological. This study focuses on how adult students during a course on wildedible plants of Helsingin työväenopisto experienced the course. The aim of the study is to collect information on what kind of expectations and learning experiences the participating students had. Methodology. This thesis is a case study. Empirical data were obtained by thematic interviews of the eight participants of the course. Additional data were collected by questionnaires which were handed out before and after the edible wild plants course. Results and conclusions. The edible wild plants course has a strong emphasis on co-operative, social and experiential learning, and it also provides the students with strong theoretical knowledge. The expectations and experiences of the course par-ticipants were partly similar to those of the course planner/researcher. The course participants had different kinds of learning objectives. Some of the course partici-pants took part with the aim to get new ideas for their daily cookery. Some of the participants wanted to learn how to recognise eatable plants in the wild. The learning objectives were fulfilled during the course. The use of edible wild plants in food preparation was regarded as a relatively easy and ecological way to diversify one’s diet. The participants’ understanding of their immediate surroundings improved and the interest in the use of ecological food increased. Ecosocial knowledge of course participants increased during the course. The course participants thought their friends and family how to use eatable plants. Some of the course participants want-ed to learn more about the subject after the course. Courses of wild edible plants are popular. The popularity of that type of courses are based partially on experiental learning in the woods.
  • Webster, Mike M.; Chouinard-Thuly, Laura; Herczeg, Gabor; Kitano, Jun; Riley, Riva; Rogers, Sean; Shapiro, Michael D.; Shikano, Takahito; Laland, Kevin N. (2019)
    Whether learning primarily reflects general processes or species-specific challenges is a long-standing matter of dispute. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of public information use (PI-use) in sticklebacks (Gasterosteidae). PI-use is a form of social learning by which animals are able to assess the relative quality of resources, here prey patches, by observing the behaviour of others. PI-use was highly specific with only Pungitius and their closest relative Culaea inconstans showing evidence of PI-use. We saw no effects of ontogenetic experience upon PI-use in Pungitius pungitius. Experiments with live demonstrators and animated fish revealed that heightened activity and feeding strikes by foraging conspecifics are important cues in the transmission of PI. Finally, PI-use was the only form of learning in which P. pungitius and another stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus differed. PI-use in sticklebacks is species-specific and may represent an 'ecological specialization' for social foraging. Whether this reflects selection on perception, attentional or cognitive processes remains to be determined.
  • Kiianlinna, Onerva Sohvi Ottilia (2022)
    There is a growing appetite for the inclusion of outcomes of empirical research into philosophical aesthetics. At the same time, evolutionary aesthetics remains in the margins with little mutual discussion with the various strands of philosophical aesthetics. This is surprising, because the evolutionary framework has the power to bring these two approaches together. This article demonstrates that the evolutionary approach builds a biocultural bridge between our philosophical and empirical understanding of humans as aesthetic agents who share the preconditions for aesthetic experience, but are not determined by them. Sometimes, philosophers are wary of the evolutionary framework. Does the research program of evolutionary aesthetics presuppose an intrinsic aesthetic instinct that would determine the way we form aesthetic judgments, regardless of the environment with which we interact? I argue that it does not. Imitation and mindreading are considered to be central features of the aesthetic module. Recently, and contrary to the prior view, it has been shown that imitation and mindreading are not likely to be innate instincts but socially learned, yet evolved patterns of behavior. Hence, I offer grounds for the idea that the cognitive aesthetic module(s) is socially learned, too. This outcome questions the need for the traditional differentiation between empirical and philosophical aesthetics.
  • Jakubik, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011)
    Economics and Society
    This qualitative, explorative study, which comprises four essays, focuses on knowledge management (KM). It seeks to answer the question: How can the knowledge creation theory of KM benefit from social learning theories? While studying the five development phases of knowledge creation theory of KM through 1995-2008 and applying some social learning theories in essays, the concepts of knowing, learning and becoming have emerged. Drawing on these three concepts and on becoming ontology and extended epistemology as research philosophies the study suggests the ‘becoming epistemology’ concept and develops the ‘becoming to know’ framework. The framework proposes becoming as phronesis of dialectic interactions between learning and knowing. It shows how becoming to know evolves as an interplay between concrete experience and logical thinking in the present and in a living context. The proposed framework could be considered a contribution to the current development phase of the knowledge creation theory of KM because it illustrates how ontological and epistemological knowledge spirals come together, which is the essence of the knowledge creation theory of KM.
  • Iho, Satu (2010)
    This thesis studies the evolution of conditional cooperation in a population where social norms are present. The model of Spichtig and Traxler (2007) is based in a public good setting where the members can choose to cooperate, contribute to the public good and adhere to the social norm or free-ride, not contribute towards the public good and thus break the social norm. Norm breaking sanctions imposed on any individual who chooses to behave in the latter manner. The exact degree of these norm sanctions on an individual's utility is determined by her individual norm sensitivity level, due to which some agents with a high norm sensitivity experience a higher utility loss from the norm sanctions in comparison with agents a lower degree of norm sensitivity. The model predicts for the population to evolve towards two equilibrium states which are characterised by a differing fraction of free-riders of the entire population. Two distinct models on learning are used to analyse further the learning mechanisms that might take place in such a population on an individual level. The model of Ellison and Fudenberg (1993) and the model of Banerjee and Fudenberg (2004) are similar in that they study a learning process of an individual in terms of new technology adoption. The former concentrates on horizontal learning which takes place within one generation and is based on mere observational clues whereas the latter analyses vertical learning taking place between generations and is based on more comlex word-of-mouth clues that are exchanged between members in the population and new entrants. Both of these models thereby us external clues as the means of learning of agents but differ in terms of what kind of learning is studied, intra-generational or inter-generational. The circumstances in and assumptions under which learning takes place in these two models are found to fit the model of the evolution of cooperation rather well and they could predict the learning mechanisms of this model in an individual level rather well.
  • Matschoss, Kaisa; Repo, Petteri (2020)
    Experimentation with novel technologies mobilises resources and constructs expectations for systemic transition, yet there is limited research that examines large numbers of energy experiments. Our approach explores an idea of a patchwork of niches and contributes to transitions literature by looking beyond individual experiments. The analysis in this article identifies four clusters of sustainable energy networks (i.e. patchworks of niches), highlighting the roles of urban prosumption, rural production, small towns as integrators, and electric transport in the technological change in the Finnish energy system. The recognition of interconnections between technologies, settings and uses envisages the future scope of patchworks of regimes, and thereby provides an empirically founded, forward-looking knowledge base for political planning and development of social learning. The network analysis of the experiments was executed using Gephi visualisation and exploration software with a specific focus on energy technologies, energy sources, sites, forms of energy use and locality. A large Finnish database on sustainable energy experiments was used to identify and network connections between the core characteristics of such experiments.
  • Gidengil, Elisabeth; Lahtinen, Hannu; Wass, Hanna; Erola, Jani (2021)
    The literature on the reproduction of political participation across generations has focused almost exclusively on parental effects. Yet, other family members may plausibly play an important role as well. This study explores the role of grandparents in the intergenerational transmission of the propensity to vote. Grandparental effects are theorized in terms of both social learning and status transmission. The analysis takes advantage of a unique dataset that links official turnout data for grandparents, parents, and adult grandchildren with demographic and socioeconomic information from administrative sources. Even controlling for a variety of status-related characteristics, grandchildren are significantly less likely to vote when their grandparents are non-voters. The association between grandparental turnout and the turnout of their adult grandchildren is only partly explained by the mediating effect of parental turnout. Having non-voting grandparents appears to reinforce the effect of having parents who do not vote and may even offset the effects of having parents who are both voters. These results suggest that it is time to take the role of grandparents seriously if we want to understand how political disadvantage is transmitted across generations.
  • Koskela, Iida-Maria (Finnish Environment Institute, 2019)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 32/2019
    Sustainable Development is a contested concept, yet some major transformations towards a more sustainable world must occur to ensure global wellbeing within planetary boundaries. The United Nations’ Agenda2030 provides a global vision for pathways towards sustainability. For achieving its goals, learning and education are in a crucial role. This report is a conceptual literature review synthesising international and mainly peer-reviewed research on sustainable behaviour and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The aim is to explore what kinds of factors explain sustainable behaviour and how learning and education can further sustainability transformations. There are several factors that explain commitment to sustainable behaviour, including demographic factors (such as age and gender), internal factors (for example nature connectedness and self-efficacy), as well as external factors (such as cultural and social norms). There seems to be a positive connection between education and sustainable behaviour, yet higher income may also result in adopting individual behaviours with a negative environmental impact. Moreover, it is typical that people’s behaviours demonstrate a value-action, attitude-action, concern-action, or knowledge-action gap. The aim of ESD is to support developing the knowledges, skills, competencies and attitudes needed to live in an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable manner in the changing world. ESD has potential to drive sustainability transformations through providing meaningful learning experiences for people at all ages both in formal education from early childhood education to higher education and outside formal education systems in everyday life, at work, in communities and generally in the society. Pedagogical solutions that enable critical deliberation, experiential learning, authentic participation and multi-actor collaboration while maintaining hope seem to support implementing transformative ESD. However, individual learning experiences are undermined if the surrounding society does not support sustainable behaviour and sustainability transformations. Thus, the magnitude and urgency of the current local and global problems require a joint and continuous learning process, which involves all societal actors to collaboratively seek for sustainable solutions.
  • Kulesskaya, Natalia; Karpova, Nina N.; Ma, Li; Tian, Li; Voikar, Vootele (2014)
  • Malkamaki, Arttu; Wagner, Paul M.; Brockhaus, Maria; Toppinen, Anne; Yla-Anttila, Tuomas (2021)
    Overcoming common-pool resource dilemmas requires learning across different sectors of society. However, policy actors frequently entrench themselves in so-called echo chambers by preferring to rely on information from those whose policy beliefs resemble their own. Policy forums can reduce the limiting effects of echo chambers by encouraging actors with diverse knowledge bases to exchange information and learn from one another. This paper applies exponential random graph models to network data from the South African tree plantation policy domain to investigate how belief homophily, reputational influence, and forum co-participation shape information exchange behavior. Results show that echo chambers are important determinants of information exchange ties and that reputational influence is likely to "deepen" the echo. Results also show that the more forums that a pair of actors co-participate in, the more likely they are to exchange information. This applies to information exchange generally, as well as information exchange with trusted partners. Findings indicate that forums enable both cognitive learning (as knowledge gains) and relational learning (as improved relations). Nonetheless, when echo chambers are strong, and many forums are polarized, then forum co-participation may not break up echo chambers.
  • Hamalainen, Liisa; Mappes, Johanna; Rowlane, Hannah M.; Thorogood, Rose (2019)
    Aposematism is an effective antipredator strategy. However, the initial evolution and maintenance of aposematism are paradoxical because conspicuous prey are vulnerable to attack by naive predators. Consequently, the evolution of aposematic signal mimicry is also difficult to explain. The cost of conspicuousness can be reduced if predators learn about novel aposematic prey by observing another predator's response to that same prey. On the other hand, observing positive foraging events might also inform predators about the presence of undefended mimics, accelerating predation on both mimics and their defended models. It is currently unknown, however, how personal and social information combines to affect the fitness of aposematic prey. For example, does social information become more useful when predators have already ingested toxins and need to minimize further consumption? We investigated how toxin load influences great tits' (Parus major) likelihood to use social information about novel aposematic prey, and how it alters predation risk for undefended mimics. Birds were first provided with mealworms injected with bitter-tasting chloroquine (or a water-injected control), before information about a novel unpalatable prey phenotype was provided via video playback (either prey alone, or of a great tit tasting the noxious prey). An experimentally increased toxin load made great tits warier to attack prey, but only if they lacked social information about unpalatable prey. Socially educated birds consumed fewer aposematic prey relative to a cryptic phenotype, regardless of toxin load. In contrast, after personally experiencing aposematic prey, birds ignored social information about palatable mimics and were hesitant to sample them. Our results suggest that social information use by predators could be a powerful force in facilitating the evolution of aposematism as it reduces predation pressure on aposematic prey, regardless of a predator's toxin load. Nevertheless, observing foraging events of others is unlikely to alter frequency-dependent dynamics among models and mimics, although this may depend on predators having recent personal experience of the model's unpalatability. A plain language summary is available for this article.
  • Hämäläinen, Liisa; Mappes, Johanna; Rowland, Hannah M.; Teichmann, Marianne; Thorogood, Rose (2020)
    To make adaptive foraging decisions, predators need to gather information about the profitability of prey. As well as learning from prey encounters, recent studies show that predators can learn about prey defences by observing the negative foraging experiences of conspecifics. However, predator communities are complex. While observing heterospecifics may increase learning opportunities, we know little about how social information use varies across predator species. Social transmission of avoidance among predators also has potential consequences for defended prey. Conspicuous aposematic prey are assumed to be an easy target for naive predators, but this cost may be reduced if multiple predators learn by observing single predation events. Heterospecific information use by predators might further benefit aposematic prey, but this remains untested. Here we test conspecific and heterospecific information use across a predator community with wild-caught blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major). We used video playback to manipulate social information about novel aposematic prey and then compared birds' foraging choices in 'a small-scale novel world' that contained novel palatable and aposematic prey items. We expected that blue tits would be less likely to use social information compared to great tits. However, we found that both blue tits and great tits consumed fewer aposematic prey after observing a negative foraging experience of a demonstrator. In fact, this effect was stronger in blue tits compared to great tits. Interestingly, blue tits also learned more efficiently from watching conspecifics, whereas great tits learned similarly regardless of the demonstrator species. Together, our results indicate that social transmission about novel aposematic prey occurs in multiple predator species and across species boundaries. This supports the idea that social interactions among predators can reduce attacks on aposematic prey and therefore influence selection for prey defences.
  • Mulà, Clelia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Prey defend themselves from predators using a range of tactics, including evolving distasteful compounds and advertising their unprofitability with aposematic warning signals. Therefore, before attacking a potential prey, predators need to assess whether it is palatable and profitable to consume. Previous studies have demonstrated that predators can rely on personal experience (personal information) and/or observe the foraging behaviour of others (social information) to assess prey profitability. ‘Social avoidance learning’, where predators observe a negative foraging experience associated with beak wiping, has been suggested to be important to explain how novel warning signals evolve. However, in previous studies observers saw a very strong “disgust response” of the demonstrators, when in fact there is variation in how strongly birds respond to unpalatable food. Therefore, to understand how social avoidance learning can work in nature I investigated how blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) use social information from demonstrators that show a weaker response to unpalatable food. I provided social information to observers using video playback of a demonstrator bird consuming a novel conspicuous prey item and showing: (1) a strong disgust response (65-95 beak wipes) as in previous studies, (2) a weak disgust response (12-25 beak wipes), or (3) no disgust response (control, no beak wiping). Next, I investigated birds’ foraging choices using a miniature novel world protocol where birds encountered novel aposematic (conspicuous and unpalatable) and cryptic (camouflaged and palatable) prey. Tested individuals consumed fewer aposematic prey after seeing a strong response but seeing a weak response did not influence their foraging choices. My results, therefore, suggest that information about novel aposematic prey may be less likely to spread socially than previously thought. However, more work is needed to determine both the availability and salience of graded social information.
  • Elonen, Kiia (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    This is a qualitative, phenomenological and hermeneutic research. The aim of this research is to study a nongraded primary education class during its pilot year from the perspective of social and individual learning. The aim of the research is to find out, how does nongradedness support social learning according to the experience of the teacher and students, and how does nongradedness support individual learning according to the experience of the teacher and students. I studied the class through observation and gathered my data by doing two theme interviews with the teacher and interviewing ten of the students. I analyzed my data following the guidelines of theory based content analysis and interpretations. In my reasearch I found out, that nongradedness supports both social and individual learning by using social and functional ways of teaching and studying. By combining two grades due to pedagogical purposes students are able to advance in their studies in an individualistic pace easily. In a nongraded classroom the teacher can easily individualise his or her teaching due to the spectrum of students and contents of things to learn made possible by combining two grades. The main focus in the classroom is on social learning.