Primates

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 57–72 | Cite as

Effects of early experience on the behaviour of yearling rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) in the presence of a strange object: classification and correlation approaches

  • M. J. A. Simpson
Article

Abstract

Special techniques are needed to help us understand the long-term effects of infants' experiences of their relationships with their mothers, especially when direct experimental control of the interaction between mother and young is impossible, or could distort their relationship. A classification approach is developed to show how outcomes in individuals can be predicted from their earlier experiences and characteristics. Four-week-old rhesus monkey infants' characteristic levels of enterprise persisted through their first year, but could be reduced in certain individuals who had been kept off their mothers by high rates of early maternal rejection. Correlational approaches are difficult to interpret when they fail to confirm simple effects of experience or of individual characteristics, because they are based on groups not individuals, and because certain individuals can affect the values of correlation coefficients in ways that cannot be specified without using a classification approach. The possible effects on correlation coefficients of inconsistent individuals, and of being unable to specify which infants respond in which ways to relevant variables were discussed.

Key Words

Macaca mulatta Early experience Rejection Correlational approach 

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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. A. Simpson
    • 1
  1. 1.M. R. C. Unit on the Development and Integration of BehaviourUniversity of Cambridge, MadingleyCambridgeEngland

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