Toyokawa, W.（豊川航）, Saito, Y.（斎藤美松）, & Kameda, T.(亀田達也) (2016).
Individual differences in learning behaviours in humans: asocial exploration tendency does not predict reliance on social learning
Evolution & Human Behavior.
A number of empirical studies have suggested that individual differences in asocial exploration tendencies in animals may be related to those in social information use. However, because the ‘exploration tendency’ in most previous studies has been measured without considering the information-gathering processes, it is yet hard to conclude that the animal asocial exploration strategies may be tied to social information use. Here, we studied human learning behaviour in both asocial and social two-armed bandit tasks. By fitting reinforcement learning models including asocial and/or social decision processes, we measured each individual’s (1) asocial exploration tendency and (2) social information use. We found consistent individual differences in the exploration tendency in the asocial tasks. We also found substantive heterogeneity in the adopted learning strategies in the social task: Nearly one-third of participants used predominantly the copy-when-uncertain strategy, while the remaining two-thirds were most likely to have relied only on asocial learning. However, we found no significant individual association between the exploration frequency in the asocial task and the use of the social information in the social task. Our results suggest that the social learning strategies may be independent from the asocial exploration strategies in humans.