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Is your leader the smartest, or just the boldest?

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1459404147420{margin-bottom: 40px !important;}”][vc_column offset=”vc_col-lg-9 vc_col-md-9″ css=”.vc_custom_1452702342137{padding-right: 45px !important;}”][stm_post_details][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1507318073937{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”]I read a research paper the other day which noted that some leaders get to be leaders not because of their greater knowledge, but because they are simply more bold: they make the first move, and others follow. Or, as the authors put it, “naïve individuals follow bold individuals because they associate this behaviour with knowledge.”

But being bold is different from being knowledgeable. Boldness (or assertiveness or presence or whatever) doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with knowledge (or competence or skill or what have you.)

As the authors put it: “some [group members] have a higher tendency to be bolder and thus leaders, even without any guarantee that they do indeed possess a higher level of knowledge.”

Sound familiar? Nothing too surprising there?

Well, maybe a little surprising. These observations weren’t made about people. These observations were made about the feeding habits of fish. Guppies, to be precise. Poecilia reticulata to be very precise.

When put into a maze, guppies will follow the first fish in their group to make a move. Doesn’t matter if that first fish knows where they’re going or not. Likewise, those fish that were knowledgeable (they were trained to locate food in the maze) weren’t always the first to make a move.

Does it surprise you that the feeding habits of fish seem to reflect the group dynamics of humans? Can animal behaviour give us useful insight into human behaviour?

(I’m pleased I’ve go to the end of this without having to resort to a fishy pun. Thank cod.)

 

Source article:

Franks, V. R., & Marshall, R. C. (2013). Mechanisms and extent of information transfer in socially foraging guppies, Poecilia reticulata. Animal Behaviour,85(1), 103-108.[/vc_column_text][stm_post_bottom][stm_post_about_author][stm_post_comments][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ offset=”vc_hidden-sm vc_hidden-xs”][stm_sidebar sidebar=”527″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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