Tuesday, May 26, 2015Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Study shows chimpanzees possess a sense of 'fairness'

Published on Jan 15, 2013 6:05 AM
A chimpanzee eats an ice cream during a hot summer day at Rio de Janeiro's zoo January 9, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Chimpanzees, in a test of their willingness to share with other chimps, displayed a surprising sense of fairness, scientists say, debunking the idea that only humans boast that quality.

The researchers said they are the first to show chimpanzees have a sense of fairness and that this may have evolved over time to aid their survival.

The experiments were carried out by scientists at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University near Atlanta, Georgia, working with colleagues at Georgia State University.

They taught the chimps to play the game "Ultimatum" in which "one individual needs to propose a reward division to another individual, and then have that individual accept the proposition before both can obtain the rewards," said researcher Frans de Waal.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!