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Appears in Collections:Psychology Book Chapters and Sections
Title: Habituating primates: Processes, techniques, variables and ethics (2nd Edition)
Author(s): Williamson, Elizabeth A
Feistner, Anna
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Editor(s): Setchell, JM
Curtis, DJ
Citation: Williamson EA & Feistner A (2011) Habituating primates: Processes, techniques, variables and ethics (2nd Edition). In: Setchell J & Curtis D (eds.) Field and Laboratory Methods in Primatology: A Practical Guide. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 33-50.
Keywords: great ape
Social behavior in animals
Primates Behavior
Issue Date: Feb-2011
Date Deposited: 6-Jul-2011
Abstract: Introduction Field biologists adopted the term habituation from physiology, as the relatively persistent waning of a response as a result of repeated stimulation that is not followed by any kind of reinforcement (Thorpe, 1963). Repeated neutral contacts between primates and humans can lead to a reduction in fear, and ultimately to the ignoring of an observer. Historically, the techniques and processes involved were rarely described, as habituation was generally viewed as a means to an end (Tutin & Fernandez, 1991). As we become increasingly aware of the potential effects of observer presence on primate behaviour, and especially the potential risks of close proximity with humans, it behoves us to measure as much about the habituation process as possible. However, most recent studies that have quantified primate behaviour in relation to habituators have focussed on great apes (see, for example, Ando et al., 2008; Bertolani & Boesch, 2008; Blom et al., 2004; Cipolletta, 2003; Doran-Sheehy et al., 2007; Sommer et al., 2004; Werdenich et al., 2003), with little information available for other primate taxa (but see Jack et al., 2008).
Rights: 'Habituating primates: processes, techniques, variables and ethics' in Field and Laboratory Methods in Primatology: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition, 2011. © Cambridge University Press 2011. Details of Field and Laboratory Methods in Primatology: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition can be found online at:; The publisher has granted permission for use of this book chapter in this Repository. The chapter was first published in Field and Laboratory Methods in Primatology: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition by Cambridge University Press.

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