Chimpanzees predict that a competitor's preference will match their own.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schmelz, M; Call, J; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • February 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 20120829 -

PubMed ID

  • 23193044

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3565493

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1744-957X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1744-9561

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0829


  • eng