Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, cannot triangulate punishment

Posted 20 Sep 2012 / 0

Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesNo third-party punishment in chimpanzees

This is pretty astonishing, but perhaps not entirely surprising. As numerous other studies have shown, there are many qualitative differences in the cognition and resulting behaviors of humans and chimpanzees. Whether the fact that chimps do not maintain a sense of ‘social justice’ through third-party punishment has to do with their cognitive abilities or with the suboptimality of this behavior within their societies is still unknown, but clearly for humans the ability to jump into the more abstract use of punishment was a huge advance.

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Cooperation, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Primates, Psychology, Punishment

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