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A multi-level approach to quantify speed-accuracy trade-offs in great tits (Parus major)
Moirón, M.; Mathot, K.J.; Dingemanse, N.J. (2016). A multi-level approach to quantify speed-accuracy trade-offs in great tits (Parus major). Behav. Ecol. 27(5): 1539-1546. dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arw077
In: Behavioral Ecology. Oxford University Press: New York. ISSN 1045-2249; e-ISSN 1465-7279, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Parus major Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    decision-making behavior; multi-level variation; Parus major; personality; sampling; speed-accuracy trade-offs;

Authors  Top 
  • Moirón, M.
  • Mathot, K.J., more
  • Dingemanse, N.J.

Abstract
    Animals often face a conflict between the speed and accuracy by which a decision is made. Decisions taken quickly might be relativelyinaccurate, whereas decisions taken more slowly might be more accurate. Such “speed-accuracy trade-offs” receive increasingattention in behavioral and cognitive sciences. Importantly, life-history theory predicts that trade-offs typically exist only at certainhierarchical levels, such as within rather than among individuals. We therefore examined within- and among-individual correlationsin the speed and accuracy by which decisions are taken, using a foraging context in wild-caught great tits (Parus major) as a workedexample. We find that great tits exhibit among-individual variation in speed-accuracy trade-offs: some individuals predictably maderelatively slow but accurate decisions, whereas others were predictably faster but less accurate. We did not, however, find evidencefor the trade-off at the within-individual level. These level-specific relationships imply that different mechanisms acted across levels.These findings highlight the need for future work on the integration of individual behavior and cognition across hierarchical levels.

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