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Thread: Apes 'Ape' More Rationally Than Humans

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Default Apes 'Ape' More Rationally Than Humans

    Apes 'Ape' More Rationally Than Humans

    Young chimps make chumps of children

    An experiment conducted at St Andrews University revealed that while children tried to tackle a puzzle without trying to analyse it, chimps of the same age used logic and managed to solve it.

    The research, which will be published this week in the quarterly academic journal Animal Cognition, describes how 12 chimps from a Ugandan nature reserve aged from two to six were pitted against 16 children aged from three to five.

    Both groups were given boxes with two compartments. The top compartment was empty, the other contained food for the chimps or stickers for the children. Half the boxes were transparent, the rest opaque.

    A researcher lifted the lid on the top of each box and made a stabbing motion with a stick in the empty compartment, as though she was trying to skewer the prize. The demonstration was misleading because the food and stickers could be reached only by opening a flap at the front of the box.

    The chimps with the transparent box immediately realised that the stabbing motion was pointless and ignored it. Instead, they opened the flap and took out the food. Those with the opaque box soon reached the same conclusion.

    However, all the children continued to stab at the empty compartment. To discount the possibility that the children were trying to please the researchers, they were left alone and filmed secretly. Only a few managed to retrieve a sticker after much futile prodding.

    I've seen a documentary about this, and the explanation in the quote above doesn't tell the whole story. In the first test (case with the non-transparent box), both the humans and chimp were taught how to get access to the object in the box, and both managed to learn what they had to learn.

    When the non-transparent box was replaced by a transparent box, the human continued to use the complex method to get the object (the method it had been taught), but the chimp looked through the transparent box and realized that two of the three steps it had been trained to do wasn't necessary in order to get the object, and skipped those. The humans continued to repeat the whole procedure (three steps) even if only the last step was needed in order to get the object in the box.

  2. #2
    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    South Yorkshire, England, UK.

    Default Re: Apes 'Ape' More Rationally Than Humans

    love and hate - I love love love those photos - that look of concentration and it just reinforces the hatred I have of all the cruelty to animals perpetrated by humans.
    even perfect isn't perfect - Rubyduby 4th July 08

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