Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
^_^

Without language, we'd be barely smarter than chimps

11 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Filed: Timeline

(PhysOrg.com) -- A problem faced by scientists comparing the mental abilities of humans, chimpanzees, apes, and monkeys is that the humans are tested by their own species and understand the requirements of the tests, while the other primates are tested by a different species (humans) and have to work out what they are supposed to do. This uneven playing field can distort the results, and so researchers in the US have designed experiments that remove the advantages humans usually have.

Psychologist Sarah Brosnan of the Language Research Center at Georgia State University tested humans, chimps, and capuchin monkeys with a decision-making "assurance" game that ensured no participants had an advantage over the others. The game was a variation of an often-used game called "Stag Hunt," which has two participants who can choose to hunt either a hare or a stag. A hare can be killed by a single hunter for a small reward, but killing the more highly-rewarded stag needs both participants to choose the stag. The aim of the game is for the participants to work out how to get the greatest reward.

Most studies of this type are designed for humans and then adapted for the other primates, but Dr Brosnan reversed the process, designing the game for the monkeys and chimps and giving the humans no instructions other than telling them they would make decisions based on tokens, and would be paid in quarters or dollars each round. They also had to work out the game non-verbally, and the tokens did not have pictures of hares or stags, but were either blue or red.

The research team tested 24 chimpanzees, 52 humans (all students), and eight capuchin monkeys. All the subjects had previously participated in similar games with winnings paid in food or money. All subjects were tested in pairs of the same species and were seated next to each other. In most studies of this type the human pairs are selected via computers and do not sit next to each other.

The game began with each member of the pair handing over one of the two tokens to the researcher. Dr Brosnan then held up the tokens so each could see what their partner had chosen. She then gave participants a reward for a match, in the form of money for the humans, or fruit for the monkeys and chimps, with the greatest amount of money or fruit for a Stag-Stag match.

The capuchins generally had no strategy, with only one of the six pairs making Stag-Stag choices more often than expected by chance. The chimpanzees matched their partner more often, but chose Hare-Hare as often as Stag-Stag. The students matched Hare-Hare and Stag-Stag slightly more often than either of the other groups. A third of the human pairs selected Hare-Hare and then subsequently stuck with the low reward each round, suggesting they were resistant to risk, or thought they had beaten the game.

The results mirror the social complexity of the species, with human social life the most complicated, followed by chimps, which hunt in groups and have a complex social life. The capuchins are the least social of the species, and are the most evolutionary distant from humans. Dr Brosnan said the results provide preliminary evidence that human behavior in cooperative games could be part of an evolutionary continuum, and primates share the same foundations.

The results were different for the three species but not as different as the researchers had expected. For example, only five of the 26 student pairs chose Stag-Stag, which was only a slightly higher rate than the chimps. When humans have the rules of the game explained to them and they are allowed to speak, they would normally demonstrate 100% cooperation. Their poor results of only 20% show humans are extremely reliant on language.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-chimps-monkeys-humans-field.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't we already know that humans were highly reliant on language?

That said, I always thought testing animals by human criteria has flaws.


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline

Holy #######! I didn't know Chimps hunted Stag? And they don't even use a gun. That's impressive.

they can't use one, the liberal part of chimp society forced them to give up their guns.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get great satisfaction from yelling at chimps.


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



barack-cowboy-hat.jpg
90f.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline

Oh so there are liberal chimps. I had no idea, I thought they were all as dumb as a bag of bricks.

the liberal chimps are the ones flinging doo at you because they want their free health care!


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

(PhysOrg.com) -- A problem faced by scientists comparing the mental abilities of humans, chimpanzees, apes, and monkeys is that the humans are tested by their own species and understand the requirements of the tests, while the other primates are tested by a different species (humans) and have to work out what they are supposed to do. This uneven playing field can distort the results, and so researchers in the US have designed experiments that remove the advantages humans usually have.

Psychologist Sarah Brosnan of the Language Research Center at Georgia State University tested humans, chimps, and capuchin monkeys with a decision-making "assurance" game that ensured no participants had an advantage over the others. The game was a variation of an often-used game called "Stag Hunt," which has two participants who can choose to hunt either a hare or a stag. A hare can be killed by a single hunter for a small reward, but killing the more highly-rewarded stag needs both participants to choose the stag. The aim of the game is for the participants to work out how to get the greatest reward.

Most studies of this type are designed for humans and then adapted for the other primates, but Dr Brosnan reversed the process, designing the game for the monkeys and chimps and giving the humans no instructions other than telling them they would make decisions based on tokens, and would be paid in quarters or dollars each round. They also had to work out the game non-verbally, and the tokens did not have pictures of hares or stags, but were either blue or red.

The research team tested 24 chimpanzees, 52 humans (all students), and eight capuchin monkeys. All the subjects had previously participated in similar games with winnings paid in food or money. All subjects were tested in pairs of the same species and were seated next to each other. In most studies of this type the human pairs are selected via computers and do not sit next to each other.

The game began with each member of the pair handing over one of the two tokens to the researcher. Dr Brosnan then held up the tokens so each could see what their partner had chosen. She then gave participants a reward for a match, in the form of money for the humans, or fruit for the monkeys and chimps, with the greatest amount of money or fruit for a Stag-Stag match.

The capuchins generally had no strategy, with only one of the six pairs making Stag-Stag choices more often than expected by chance. The chimpanzees matched their partner more often, but chose Hare-Hare as often as Stag-Stag. The students matched Hare-Hare and Stag-Stag slightly more often than either of the other groups. A third of the human pairs selected Hare-Hare and then subsequently stuck with the low reward each round, suggesting they were resistant to risk, or thought they had beaten the game.

The results mirror the social complexity of the species, with human social life the most complicated, followed by chimps, which hunt in groups and have a complex social life. The capuchins are the least social of the species, and are the most evolutionary distant from humans. Dr Brosnan said the results provide preliminary evidence that human behavior in cooperative games could be part of an evolutionary continuum, and primates share the same foundations.

The results were different for the three species but not as different as the researchers had expected. For example, only five of the 26 student pairs chose Stag-Stag, which was only a slightly higher rate than the chimps. When humans have the rules of the game explained to them and they are allowed to speak, they would normally demonstrate 100% cooperation. Their poor results of only 20% show humans are extremely reliant on language.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-chimps-monkeys-humans-field.html

Naturally, since humans typically can talk and talking is the best way to achieve social cooperation that we know of, you wouldn't expect humans to develop other back-up, but still less effective, methods of achieving social cooperation. When you have something that works well and reliably, evolution dissuades you from spending energy and resources on a back-up plan. It's like saying that without his weapons, a marine is less deadly than a karate expert. It's probably true, but it's not very meaningful. Marines expect to be in situations where they have their weapons and they train for that. If there was a high probability that a marine would be in combat without weapons, they would probably spend more energy training in unarmed combat. (I know that marines do train in unarmed combat. But that's really because the probability of not being able to use your rifle is higher than the probability of randomly not being able to speak.)

Now if there was evidence that chimps have some sort of social cooperation tool that they are unable to use in these scenarios, there might be some credence to this study. As it is, all it shows is that people rely on language to be effective in social situations. They got paid for that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...