Social learning of fear and safety is determined by the demonstrator’s racial group

A Golkar, V Castro, A Olsson: Social learning of fear and safety is determined by the demonstrator's racial group. In: Biology Letters, 11 (1), 2015.

Abstract

Social learning offers an efficient route through which humans and other animals learn about potential dangers in the environment. Such learning inherently relies on the transmission of social information and should imply selectivity in what to learn from whom. Here, we conducted two observational learning experiments to assess how humans learn about danger and safety from members (‘demonstrators') of an other social group than their own. We show that both fear and safety learning from a racial in-group demonstrator was more potent than learning from a racial out-group demonstrator.