Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chimps choose more rationally than humans

The Burning Taper is known across the Milky Way for its never-ending coverage of monkey business. If it's about a primate, we'll print it.

Our masthead should be "By monkeys. About monkeys. For monkeys."

(Read more RAW.)

In the past we've brought you cutting-edge monkey business including:Now we learn that chimps are more rational than humans.

Chimpanzees make choices that protect their self-interest more consistently than do humans.

Researchers used a two-player economic game where each player, either chimp or human, receives something of value and can then share it with the other player.

If what is offered is rejected, then neither player gets anything.

Humans typically offer half of the booty, and typically reject any offer significantly less than half, even though rejecting it means neither player will get anything.

Chimps, though, will offer much less than 50%, but will accept any offer.

What's this mean? Researches think it means that humans will go without to punish another person, or to keep him from getting more than his "fair share."

Chimps don't care about being fair. They simply protect their self-interest, and they are unwilling to lose something simply to punish someone else who is being unfair.

Chimps, like most "lower" animals, live in the Now, and are concerned with their immediate present, unlike humans, who constantly live in the past or the future, worrying excessively about other people, both in their attempts to be fair to them, and to punish those who they perceive as unfair.

(Read more Tolle.)

| | | |


  1. Chimpanzees make choices that protect their self-interest more consistently than do humans.

    And this is supposed to be news?

    For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars and so on -- whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man -- for precisely the same reasons.

    -- Douglas Adams

  2. Be careful quoting atheists, Bro. Tom. The Religion of Freemasonry might disfellowship you.

    — W.S., semi-literate simian

  3. All this shows is that human beings and chimps interact at different scales: chimps act in their immediate self-interest, and human beings in their long-term self-interest.

    Human beings seem to have Tit-for-Tat built into their genes, and this vested interest in punishing those who cheat the system is probably part of the reason we manage to have communities that survive.

  4. The Devil may quote scripture for his own purposes, WS. Why can't we Freemasonariasts quote the Devil?

  5. Quoting the Devil is safer than quoting the Code Book in some jurisdictions.

    — W.S.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.