Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chimpanzees show quality of relationship drives sense of fairness

26.01.2005


The evolution of the sense of fairness may have involved the quality of relationships according to behavioral researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta.



By observing variability in chimpanzees’ responses to inequity, Sarah Brosnan, PhD, and Frans de Waal, PhD, both researchers in Yerkes’ Division of Psychobiology and the Yerkes-based Living Links Center, determined the chimpanzees’ responses depended upon the strength of their social connections. This is the first demonstration that nonhuman primates’ reactions to inequity parallel the variation in human responses to unfair situations based on the quality of the relationship. This novel finding appears January 26 on the Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Series B web site, www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk. The finding also will appear in the journal’s February 7 print edition.

Coupled with data from the authors’ previous fairness-related research in capuchin monkeys, released in fall 2003, Brosnan and de Waal’s current research provides new insight into the role social environment and relationships play in human decision-making. In their previous study, the researchers identified for the first time a sense of fairness in nonhuman primates and correlated that finding to human economic decision-making. "Human decisions tend to be emotional and vary depending on the other people involved," said Brosnan. "Our finding in chimpanzees implies this variability in response is adaptive and emphasizes there is not one best response for any given situation but rather it depends on the social environment at the time."


In the current study, Drs. Brosnan and de Waal made food-related exchanges with chimpanzees from groups that had lived together either their entire lives or a relatively short time (less than eight years). Animals were paired to determine how they would react when their partners received a superior reward (grapes) instead of a less-valued reward (cucumbers) for the same amount of work, considered an unfair situation. The researchers observed the chimpanzees in the close, long-term social groups were less likely to react negatively to the unfair situation than were the chimpanzees in the short-term social groups, who refused to work when their partners received a superior reward. Such a reaction is seen in humans who might react negatively to unfair situations with a stranger or enemy but not with a family member or friend.

"Identifying a sense of fairness in two, closely-related nonhuman primate species implies it could have a long evolutionary history. The capuchin responses as well as those of the chimpanzees, the most closely related species to humans, could represent stages in the evolution of the complex responses to inequity exhibited by humans and may help explain why we make certain decisions," said Brosnan.

Brosnan and de Waal currently are investigating reactions to unfairness in more detail. They hope to uncover the specific situations that lead to such reactions.

The goal of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center is to view great apes as a window to the human past by studying their behavior, cognition, neuroanatomy, genes and reproduction in a noninvasive manner. Another goal is to educate the public about apes and to help guarantee their continued existence in the wild.

Kelly Thompson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.emory.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Kidney tumor: Genetic trigger discovered
18.06.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New type of photosynthesis discovered
18.06.2018 | Imperial College London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>