Chimpanzees strategically manipulate what others can see.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Humans often strategically manipulate the informational access of others to their own advantage. Although chimpanzees know what others can and cannot see, it is unclear whether they can strategically manipulate others' visual access. In this study, chimpanzees were given the opportunity to save food for themselves by concealing it from a human competitor and also to get more food for themselves by revealing it to a human cooperator. When knowing that a competitor was approaching, chimpanzees kept more food hidden (left it covered) than when expecting a cooperator to approach. When the experimenter was already at the location of the hidden food, they actively revealed less food to the competitor than to the cooperator. They did not actively hide food (cover up food in the open) from the competitor, however. Chimpanzees thus strategically manipulated what another could see in order to maximize their payoffs and showed their ability to plan for future situations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Karg, K; Schmelz, M; Call, J; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • September 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1069 - 1076

PubMed ID

  • 25964096

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1435-9456

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1435-9448

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10071-015-0875-z


  • eng