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A cost of leadership in human groups

Piyapong, Chantima; Morrell, Lesley J.; Croft, Darren P.; Dyer, John R. G.; Ioannou, Christos C.; Krause, Jens


Chantima Piyapong

Darren P. Croft

John R. G. Dyer

Christos C. Ioannou

Jens Krause


Group living is the result of a dynamic trade-off between associated costs and benefits. However, these costs and benefits are not necessarily distributed equally across different spatial positions of groups which may result in different fitness returns for individuals occupying different positions in groups. Here we consider whether leadership of a group during a navigation task in humans may have a specific cost associated with it. Pairs of students performed a counting task whilst walking through two obstacle courses, once as leader and once as follower. We found that leaders made significantly more errors in the counting task than followers suggesting that there is an attention cost associated with leadership/navigation behaviour.


Piyapong, C., Morrell, L. J., Croft, D. P., Dyer, J. R. G., Ioannou, C. C., & Krause, J. (2007). A cost of leadership in human groups. Ethology, 113(9), 821-824.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 5, 2007
Online Publication Date Aug 15, 2007
Publication Date 2007-09
Print ISSN 0179-1613
Electronic ISSN 1439-0310
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 113
Issue 9
Pages 821-824
Keywords Animal Science and Zoology; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
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