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Record number 406593
Title The effect of boldness on decision-making in barnacle geese is group-size-dependent
Author(s) Kurvers, R.H.J.M.; Adamczyk, M.A.P.; Wieren, S.E. van; Prins, H.H.T.
Source Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 278 (2011)1714. - ISSN 0962-8452 - p. 2018 - 2024.
Department(s) Resource Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) social information - 3-spined sticklebacks - influence leadership - zebra finches - personality - behavior - exploration - context - fish - organization
Abstract In group-living species, decisions made by individuals may result in collective behaviours. A central question in understanding collective behaviours is how individual variation in phenotype affects collective behaviours. However, how the personality of individuals affects collective decisions in groups remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of boldness on the decision-making process in different-sized groups of barnacle geese. Naive barnacle geese, differing in boldness score, were introduced in a labyrinth in groups with either one or three informed demonstrators. The demonstrators possessed information about the route through the labyrinth. In pairs, the probability of choosing a route prior to the informed demonstrator increased with increasing boldness score: bolder individuals decided more often for themselves where to go compared with shyer individuals, whereas shyer individuals waited more often for the demonstrators to decide and followed this information. In groups of four individuals, however, there was no effect of boldness on decision-making, suggesting that individual differences were less important with increasing group size. Our experimental results show that personality is important in collective decisions in pairs of barnacle geese, and suggest that bolder individuals have a greater influence over the outcome of decisions in groups.
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