Use of social information in the problem solving of orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and human children (Homo sapiens).

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Fourteen juvenile and adult orangutans and 24 3- and 4-year-old children participated in 4 studies on imitative learning in a problem-solving situation. In all studies a simple to operate apparatus was used, but its internal mechanism was hidden from subjects to prevent individual learning. In the 1st study, orangutans observed a human demonstrator perform 1 of 4 actions on the apparatus and obtain a reward; they subsequently showed no signs of imitative learning. Similar results were obtained in a 2nd study in which orangutan demonstrators were used. Similar results were also obtained in a 3rd study in which a human encouraged imitation from an orangutan that had previously been taught to mimic arbitrary human actions. In a 4th study, human 3- and 4-year-old children learned the task by means of imitation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Call, J; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • September 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 109 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 308 - 320

PubMed ID

  • 7554827

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-2087

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0735-7036

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0735-7036.109.3.308


  • eng