Daniel Hanus

Daniel Hanus
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | EVA · Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology

About

31
Publications
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1,274
Citations

Publications

Publications (31)
Preprint
Theories in psychology, cognitive science, anthropology and evolutionary biology use great ape cognition as a reference point to specify the evolutionary dynamics that give rise to complex cognitive abilities and to define the nature of human cognition. This approach requires a comprehensive way of describing great ape cognition to compare it to ot...
Preprint
Primate cognition research allows us to reconstruct the evolution of human cognition. However, temporal and contextual factors that induce variation in cognitive studies with great apes are poorly understood. Here we report on a longitudinal study where we repeatedly tested a comparatively large sample of great apes (N = 40) with the same set of co...
Article
Full-text available
Using the comparative approach, researchers draw inferences about the evolution of cognition. Psychologists have postulated several hypotheses to explain why certain species are cognitively more flexible than others, and these hypotheses assume that certain cognitive skills are linked together to create a generally “smart” species. However, empiric...
Article
Full-text available
Inferring the evolutionary history of cognitive abilities requires large and diverse samples. However, such samples are often beyond the reach of individual researchers or institutions, and studies are often limited to small numbers of species. Consequently, methodological and site-specific-differences across studies can limit comparisons between s...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated whether chimpanzees use the temporal sequence of external events to determine causation. Seventeen chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) witnessed a human experimenter press a button in two different conditions. When she pressed the “causal button” the delivery of juice and a sound immediately followed (cause-then-effect). In contrast, she...
Article
Low innovation rates have been found with children until 6–8 years of age in tasks that required them to make a tool. Little is known about how prior experience and task presentation influence innovation rates. In the current study, we investigated these aspects in the floating peanut task (FPT), which required children to pour water into a vertica...
Article
Great apes have been shown to be intuitive statisticians: they can use proportional information within a population to make intuitive probability judgments about randomly drawn samples [1, J.E., J.C., J.H., E.H., and H.R., unpublished data]. Humans, from early infancy onward, functionally integrate intuitive statistics with other cognitive domains...
Article
The debate about whether or not one could/should ascribe reasoning abilities to animals has deep historical roots and seems very up-to-date in the light of the immense body of new empirical data originating from various species and research paradigms. Associative learning (AL) seems to be a ubiquitous low-level contender for any cognitive interpret...
Article
Full-text available
In order to make sense of the world, humans tend to see causation almost everywhere. Although most causal relations may seem straightforward, they are not always construed in the same way cross-culturally. In this study, we investigate concepts of “chance,” “coincidence,” or “randomness” that refer to assumed relations between intention, action, an...
Article
Full-text available
Most experimental paradigms to study visual cognition in humans and non-human species are based on discrimination tasks involving the choice between two or more visual stimuli. To this end, different types of stimuli and procedures for stimuli presentation are used, which highlights the necessity to compare data obtained with different methods. The...
Article
Full-text available
When searching for hidden food, do chimpanzees take into account both the number of hidden items and the number of potential hiding locations? We presented chimpanzees with two trays, each of them containing a different food/cup ratio and therefore a different likelihood of finding a baited cup among empty alternatives. Subjects' performance was di...
Conference Paper
Background / Purpose: Humans differentiate between events that follow a purely spatio-temporal contingency and those that hold (in addition) a causal relationship. Whether we are the only species capable of doing so or whether we find cognitive precursors or convergent capacities in other species is a debated question. Main conclusion: The two...
Article
Humans have a sense of fairness, i.e. an interest in the ideal of equity. This sense allows them to compare their own efforts and subsequent outcomes with those of others, and thus to evaluate and react to inequity. The question is whether our closest living relatives, the non-human primates, show the behavioural characteristics that might qualify...
Chapter
Full-text available
Previous experimental work has led several authors to conclude that only humans reinterpret 'first-order perceptual relations in terms of higher order role-governed relational structures,' meaning that among other things, non-human animals are not capable of physical reasoning based on abstract, unobservable object properties. Instead they must rel...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, Mendes et al. [1] described the use of a liquid tool (water) in captive orangutans. Here, we tested chimpanzees and gorillas for the first time with the same "floating peanut task." None of the subjects solved the task. In order to better understand the cognitive demands of the task, we further tested other populations of chimpanzees and...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are able to benefit from a causally structured problem-solving context rather than arbitrarily structured situations. In order to better understand nonhuman causal cognition, it is therefore important to isolate crucial factors that might differentiate between events that follow a purely spatial and temporal contingency and those that hold a...
Thesis
Gegenstand dieser Dissertation war die Frage, wie Menschenaffen physische Beziehungen zwischen Objekten verstehen. In der ersten Studie (STUDIE I) wurden drei Menschenaffenarten und Kinder mit einem Problem konfrontiert, dessen Lösung die Verwendung eines flüssigen Werkzeugs (Wasser) erforderte. Schimpansen und Kinder entdeckten einsichtsvoll eine...
Article
The extent to which animals in general, and non-human primates in particular, understand physical causality is currently unclear [1,2]. One way to assess an animal's causal understanding is to test its ability to analyze a causal chain backwards - to infer cause from an effect [3]. In the study reported here, chimpanzees saw a given outcome (effect...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the use of water as a tool by presenting five orangutans (Pongo abelii) with an out-of-reach peanut floating inside a vertical transparent tube. All orangutans collected water from a drinker and spat it inside the tube to get access to the peanut. Subjects required an average of three mouthfuls of water to get the peanut. This solut...
Article
Full-text available
The authors examined quantity-based judgments for up to 10 items for simultaneous and sequential whole sets as well as for sequentially dropped items in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), bonobos (Pan paniscus), and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). In Experiment 1, subjects had to choose the larger of 2 quantities presented in 2...
Article
Full-text available
People often act on behalf of others. They do so without immediate personal gain, at cost to themselves, and even toward unfamiliar individuals. Many researchers have claimed that such altruism emanates from a species-unique psychology not found in humans' closest living evolutionary relatives, such as the chimpanzee. In favor of this view, the few...
Data
Experiment 2 Child in condition Reaching. (7.3 MB MPG)
Data
Experiment 1 Chimpanzee in condition Reaching/No Reward. (8.9 MB MPG)
Data
Experiment 2 Chimpanzee in condition No Reaching. (6.9 MB MPG)
Data
Supporting Materials and Methods (54 KB DOC)
Data
Experiment 1 Child in condition Reaching/No Reward. (9.5 MB MPG)
Data
Experiment 3 Chimpanzee helps in experimental condition. (4.4 MB MPG)

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