3 years ago

Chimpanzees return favors at a personal cost [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]

Chimpanzees return favors at a personal cost [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Michael Tomasello, Jurgen Jost, Alihan Kabalak, Sebastian Grueneisen, Martin Schmelz

Humans regularly provide others with resources at a personal cost to themselves. Chimpanzees engage in some cooperative behaviors in the wild as well, but their motivational underpinnings are unclear. In three experiments, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) always chose between an option delivering food both to themselves and a partner and one delivering food only to themselves. In one condition, a conspecific partner had just previously taken a personal risk to make this choice available. In another condition, no assistance from the partner preceded the subject’s decision. Chimpanzees made significantly more prosocial choices after receiving their partner’s assistance than when no assistance was given (experiment 1) and, crucially, this was the case even when choosing the prosocial option was materially costly for the subject (experiment 2). Moreover, subjects appeared sensitive to the risk of their partner’s assistance and chose prosocially more often when their partner risked losing food by helping (experiment 3). These findings demonstrate experimentally that chimpanzees are willing to incur a material cost to deliver rewards to a conspecific, but only if that conspecific previously assisted them, and particularly when this assistance was risky. Some key motivations involved in human cooperation thus may have deeper phylogenetic roots than previously suspected.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.