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Play, animals, resources: The need for a rich (and challenging) comparative environment

  • Gordon M. Burghardt (a1)

Van de Vliert proposes a comprehensive explanation for differences in “freedoms” in diverse human populations based on climate and monetary resources. This intriguing approach, though derived from an evolutionary view covering all species, is based exclusively on human populations. This anthropocentric lens is challenged by ways of testing Van de Vliert's thesis more generally using playfulness as a surrogate for freedom.

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J. D. Baldwin & J. I. Baldwin (1974) Exploration and social play in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri). American Zoologist 14:303–15.

G. M. Burghardt (1988) Precocity, play, and the ectotherm–endotherm transition: Profound reorganization or superficial adaptation. In: Handbook of behavioral neurobiology, vol. 9, Developmental psychobiology and behavioral ecology, ed. E. M. Blass , pp. 107–48. Plenum Press.

G. M. Burghardt (2013) The Janus faced nature of comparative psychology – strength or weakness? Evolutionary Psychology 11:762–80.

K. A. Ono , D. J. Boness & O. T. Oftedal (1987) The effect of a natural environmental disturbance on maternal investment and pup behavior in the California sea lion. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 21:109–18.

S. M. Pellis & A. N. Iwaniuk (2000) Adult-adult play in primates: Comparative analyses of its origin, distribution, and evolution. Ethology 106:1083–104.

B. Thierry , A. N. Iwaniuk & S. M. Pellis (2000) The influence of phylogeny on the social behaviour of macaques. Ethology 106:713–28.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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