Chimpanzees predict that a competitor's preference will match their own.
The ability to predict how another individual will behave is useful in social competition. Chimpanzees can predict the behaviour of another based on what they observe her to see, hear, know and infer. Here we show that chimpanzees act on the assumption that others have preferences that match their own. All subjects began with a preference for a box with a picture of food over one with a picture of nothing, even though the pictures had no causal relation to the contents. In a back-and-forth food competition, chimpanzees then avoided the box with the picture of food when their competitor had chosen one of the boxes before them-presumably on the assumption that the competitor shared their own preference for it and had already chosen it. Chimpanzees predicted that their competitor's preference would match their own and adjusted their behavioural strategies accordingly.
Schmelz, M; Call, J; Tomasello, M
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)