Are apes inequity averse? New data on the token-exchange paradigm.

Published

Journal Article

Recent studies have produced mixed evidence about inequity aversion in nonhuman primates. Brosnan et al. [Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences 272:253-258, 2005] found inequity aversion in chimpanzees and argued that effort is crucial, if subjects are to evaluate how they are rewarded in comparison to a competitor for an identical performance. In this study we investigated inequity aversion with chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans, using the method of Brosnan et al. [Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences 272:253-258, 2005] after introducing some methodological improvements. Subjects always received a less-preferred food in exchange for a token, whereas the competitor received either the same type of food for their token (equity) or a more favored food for it (inequity). Apes did not refuse more of the less-preferred food when a competitor had received the more favored food. Thus, with an improved methodology we failed to reproduce the findings of Brosnan et al. [Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences 272:253-258, 2005] that apes show inequity aversion.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bräuer, J; Call, J; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • February 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 175 - 181

PubMed ID

  • 19021260

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19021260

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1098-2345

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0275-2565

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ajp.20639

Language

  • eng