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Surprise, surprise: Children like to work together but chimps don’t

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“Children, Not Chimps, Prefer Collaboration: Humans Like to Work Together in Solving Tasks — Chimps Don’t” (ScienceDaily, Oct. 13, 2011)

Recent studies have shown that chimpanzees possess many of the cognitive prerequisites necessary for humanlike collaboration. Cognitive abilities, however, might not be all that differs between chimpanzees and humans when it comes to cooperation. Researchers from the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the MPI for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen have now discovered that when all else is equal, human children prefer to work together in solving a problem, rather than solve it on their own. Chimpanzees, on the other hand, show no such preference according to a study of 3-year-old German kindergarteners and semi-free ranging chimpanzees, in which the children and chimps could choose between a collaborative and a non-collaboration problem-solving approach.

Compare this with recent claims that orangutans have culture. The reason orangutans don‘t have culture is precisely stuff like this.

See also: Another altruistic chimps story that doesn’t demonstrate what is claimed

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