Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Ethology and Sociobiology 4 (1983), pp. 95-110. Copyright © 1983 Elsevier Science Publishing Co., Inc. Used by permission.


Mechanisms of transmission of learned behavior were described in terms of the behavioral interactions between fathers and their children as they fished from a pier on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Verbal and nonverbal behaviors were analyzed using hierarchical cluster analysis and the patterns of association in the behavioral repertoire were described in detail. Groupings of associated behaviors ranged from clusters suggestive of modeling or simple showing to complex combinations of behaviors involved in teaching. There were indications that the transmission behaviors varied with the content of the transmitted information and the role of the performer. Role differentiation in the transmission behaviors suggested the occurrence of two distinct patterns in the ontogeny of complex behaviors.