There have been recent studies on the theory that chimpanzees have a sense of fairness. These studies have lead scientists to believe that there is indeed, a sense of fairness in chimps. This was before said to be a trait unique to humans. One way scientists test someone for their sense of fairness in the Ultimatum Game (UG), in this game the proposer chooses one of two tokens that can be exchanged for food one token represents a ratio of 1:1 while the other represents a ratio of 5:1. There is also a game called The Dictator game (DG) that shows results when the respondent (person accepting the offer) has no choice in the proposer’s decision.
The results in studies done by Darby Proctor and her associates include experiments of both the UG and the DG done on children and on chimps. The results of the children and chimps are very similar and show that in the UG about 70% of the proposers in chimps, and humans chose equal offers which shows a link in the minds of Chimps and humans that could help explain how we act and respond to various events.
While the results showed “fair” offers in the UG, the DG showed very different results. I found that in the DG there were also many similarities in the choices of the chimps and humans, but they showed that around 85% of proposers chose the more selfish offer when the respondent didn’t have a say in the offer. This also shows a direct link between the minds of chimps and humans. I find this quite interesting that a trait thought to be specific to humans for so many years could be so wrong. This is an article confirming the findings of Proctor and her associates:
In conclusion, I find that a chimps mind and that of a human are not wildly different, but actually very alike in many ways. These ways include reasoning and their sense of fairness. I find these results by Proctor are astounding. There are some scientists who believe that her work is biased or untrue, here is a link to an article that discusses these scientists and their thoughts.
What are some other similarities found in the minds of chimps and humans?
Can you find more studies on this subject?
What are your reactions to this information?