NOTE: This article is only available to subscribers. Subscribe now to gain access to all articles, read exclusive interviews with top scientists from around the world, and browse the site ad free. The first month is free.

EXCLUSIVE: Chimp study reveals evolutionary roots of human fairness [VIDEO]

New study suggests chimpanzees understand concept of fairness.

January 15, 2013

Using a behavioral research technique called the Ultimatum Game, researchers from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University have demonstrated that chimpanzees have a sense of fair play– a trait previously thought to exist only in humans.

“We used the Ultimatum Game because it is the gold standard to determine the human sense of fairness,” says first author Darby Proctor. ”In the game, 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. Humans typically offer generous portions, such as 50 percent of the reward, to their partners, and that’s exactly what we recorded in our study with chimpanzees.”

Comments should take into account that readers may hold different opinions. With that in mind, please make sure comments are respectful, insightful, and remain focused on the article topic. In addition, readers can send us tips, press releases, or ideas for stories: