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Mere presence of co-eater automatically shifts foraging tactics toward “fast and easy” food in humans

Cite this dataset

Ogura, Yukiko; Masamoto, Taku; Kameda, Tatsuya (2020). Mere presence of co-eater automatically shifts foraging tactics toward “fast and easy” food in humans [Dataset]. Dryad.


Competition for food resources is widespread in nature. The foraging behavior of social animals should thus be adapted to potential food competition. We hypothesized that in the presence of co-foragers, animals would shift their tactics to forage more frequently for smaller food. Because smaller foods are more abundant in nature and allow faster consumption, such tactics should allow animals to consume food more securely against scrounging. We tested whether humans would exhibit such a shift. To prevent subjects from having rivalry, they were instructed to engage in a “taste test” in a laboratory, alone or in pairs. Even though the other subject was merely present and there was no real competition for food, subjects in pairs immediately exhibited a systematic behavioral shift to reaching for smaller food amounts more frequently, which was clearly distinct from their reaching patterns both when eating alone and when simply weighing the same food without eating any. These patterns suggest that behavioral shifts in the presence of others may be built-in tactics in gregarious animals to adapt to potential food competition in social foraging.

Usage notes

Ogura_et_al_2019_RSOS.Rmd: a Rmd file that contains all R codes we used for analysis.

source: Custom R functions for analysis.

study1_human/rawdata: raw csv/excel files.

study1_human/stancode: stan codes used for state-space modelling.


study1_human/brms_amount, study1_human/brms_supplementary, study1_human/brms_potato_weight_distribution,  study2_chick/brms_peck, 

study2_chick/brms_amount: All fitting objects (results) of Bayesian multilevel modelling are contained in rds files. rds is a file format that can be used with R.

study1_human/dataset: Cleansed datasets.

study1_human/fit_statespace: All fitting objects (results) of state-space modelling.


Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Award: JP16H06324,JP18K13267

Center for Integrative Science of Human Behavior, University of Tokyo

Japan Science and Technology Agency, Award: JPMJCR17A4-17941861