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Researchers: Chimpanzees have sense of fair play

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | January 15, 2013

Researchers: Chimpanzees have sense of fair play

Chimpanzees have sense of fair play.

Researchers from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University have successfully demonstrated that chimpanzees have a sense of fair play. Prior to this study, researchers believed that this was a uniquely human trait. Researchers from Emory University and their colleagues from Georgia State University played the Ultimatum Game with the chimpanzees to see how cognizant the animals are to the reward distribution between two individuals if both chimpanzees have to come to terms with the outcome.

“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.”

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