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Cooperative Activities in Young Children and Chimpanzees

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Abstract

Human children 18-24 months of age and 3 young chimpanzees interacted in 4 cooperative activities with a human adult partner. The human children successfully participated in cooperative problem-solving activities and social games, whereas the chimpanzees were uninterested in the social games. As an experimental manipulation, in each task the adult partner stopped participating at a specific point during the activity. All children produced at least one communicative attempt to reengage him, perhaps suggesting that they were trying to reinstate a shared goal. No chimpanzee ever made any communicative attempt to reengage the partner. These results are interpreted as evidence for a uniquely human form of cooperative activity involving shared intentionality that emerges in the second year of life.

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... However, some empirical work on forming shared goals and intentions with others, in which individuals are interdependently and simultaneously committed to achieving the same outcome, suggests this ability may be human-unique (Tomasello & Carpenter, 2007;Tomasello & Moll, 2010;Tomasello et al., 2012). Research supporting the human-uniqueness of shared intentionality shows that chimpanzees do not attempt to re-engage cooperative partners in problem solving (Warneken et al., 2006) or social games at the same rate (Warneken et al., 2006;MacLean & Hare, 2013), nor show spontaneous role reversal (Tomasello et al., 2005) as human children do. However, humans have served as non-human apes' cooperative partners in many experiments directly examining shared intentionality (e.g., Warneken et al., 2006), raising questions about whether non-human apes may behave differently with conspecifics and how these findings relate to other non-human primates (but see Heesen et al., 2020 for a recent study demonstrating re-engagement after interrupted social grooming in bonobos). ...
... However, some empirical work on forming shared goals and intentions with others, in which individuals are interdependently and simultaneously committed to achieving the same outcome, suggests this ability may be human-unique (Tomasello & Carpenter, 2007;Tomasello & Moll, 2010;Tomasello et al., 2012). Research supporting the human-uniqueness of shared intentionality shows that chimpanzees do not attempt to re-engage cooperative partners in problem solving (Warneken et al., 2006) or social games at the same rate (Warneken et al., 2006;MacLean & Hare, 2013), nor show spontaneous role reversal (Tomasello et al., 2005) as human children do. However, humans have served as non-human apes' cooperative partners in many experiments directly examining shared intentionality (e.g., Warneken et al., 2006), raising questions about whether non-human apes may behave differently with conspecifics and how these findings relate to other non-human primates (but see Heesen et al., 2020 for a recent study demonstrating re-engagement after interrupted social grooming in bonobos). ...
... Research supporting the human-uniqueness of shared intentionality shows that chimpanzees do not attempt to re-engage cooperative partners in problem solving (Warneken et al., 2006) or social games at the same rate (Warneken et al., 2006;MacLean & Hare, 2013), nor show spontaneous role reversal (Tomasello et al., 2005) as human children do. However, humans have served as non-human apes' cooperative partners in many experiments directly examining shared intentionality (e.g., Warneken et al., 2006), raising questions about whether non-human apes may behave differently with conspecifics and how these findings relate to other non-human primates (but see Heesen et al., 2020 for a recent study demonstrating re-engagement after interrupted social grooming in bonobos). The aquatic social play we observed among the rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago offers a new opportunity to study joint activities among non-human primates, as the behaviour appears to occur relatively frequently in this population, occurs in one fixed area, and includes many diverse participants. ...
Article
Although play is ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom, and in primates especially, the ultimate explanations and proximate mechanisms of play are not well understood. Previous research proposes that primate play may be important for the development of cognitive skills including executive function, emotional regulation, and impulse control, and could help to build social skills and network connections needed in later life. However, many of these hypotheses have not been thoroughly tested. Here, we report observations of novel play behaviour that could provide unique opportunities to explore these hypotheses: young rhesus macaques ( Macaca mulatta ) engaging in aquatic social play in a naturalistic setting. Based on our observations, we propose that aquatic play has social elements that make it ideal for testing ultimate explanations of primate play and hypotheses about the cognitive mechanisms that support it.
... Empirically, joint commitment manifests itself when ongoing joint actions are interrupted, either due to a partner's inability or unwillingness to continue [7][8][9] or due to external interruptions by third-party individuals [10,11]. Individuals wishing to interrupt a joint action typically justify the necessity of the interruption, whereas those being interrupted unexpectedly often protest and attempt to re-engage partners [8,9,[12][13][14][15]. ...
... Empirically, joint commitment manifests itself when ongoing joint actions are interrupted, either due to a partner's inability or unwillingness to continue [7][8][9] or due to external interruptions by third-party individuals [10,11]. Individuals wishing to interrupt a joint action typically justify the necessity of the interruption, whereas those being interrupted unexpectedly often protest and attempt to re-engage partners [8,9,[12][13][14][15]. One paradigm to study joint commitment is therefore to have participants engage in a joint action (e.g. a social game) and to then interrupt them or have one partner, a confederate, deliberately interrupt it [7,8,12,16]. ...
... Individuals wishing to interrupt a joint action typically justify the necessity of the interruption, whereas those being interrupted unexpectedly often protest and attempt to re-engage partners [8,9,[12][13][14][15]. One paradigm to study joint commitment is therefore to have participants engage in a joint action (e.g. a social game) and to then interrupt them or have one partner, a confederate, deliberately interrupt it [7,8,12,16]. Participants' protests or attempts to re-engage their partners to the joint action are interpreted as evidence for joint commitment [8,9,12]. ...
Article
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Human joint action seems special, as it is grounded in joint commitment—a sense of mutual obligation participants feel towards each other. Comparative research with humans and non-human great apes has typically investigated joint commitment by experimentally interrupting joint actions to study subjects’ resumption strategies. However, such experimental interruptions are human-induced, and thus the question remains of how great apes naturally handle interruptions. Here, we focus on naturally occurring interruptions of joint actions, grooming and play, in bonobos and chimpanzees. Similar to humans, both species frequently resumed interrupted joint actions (and the previous behaviours, like grooming the same body part region or playing the same play type) with their previous partners and at the previous location. Yet, the probability of resumption attempts was unaffected by social bonds or rank. Our data suggest that great apes experience something akin to joint commitment, for which we discuss possible evolutionary origins.
... This section will focus on research on interpersonal social coordination in the fields of developmental psychology (Carpenter & Svetlova, 2016;Rakoczy, 2017), evolutionary anthropology (Tomasello et al., 2005;Tomasello, 2019;Warneken et al., 2006;Warneken & Tomasello, 2009), and cognitive science (Michael et al., 2016;Knoblich et al., 2011;Vesper, Butterfill et al., 2010;Vesper et al., 2016). Through this case study, we will emphasize how the mechanistic framework of explanation can be used to carve out a feasible division of labor between cognitive and social scientists studying the same phenomena. ...
... Research on social coordination in the field of evolutionary anthropology has focused on the phylogenetic differences that there are between the cooperative capacities of humans and their nearest primate relatives, such as chimpanzees and bonobos (Tomasello et al., 2005;Tomasello, 2019;Warneken et al., 2006;Warneken & Tomasello, 2009). Turning their attention away from the Machiavellian intelligence-hypothesis of the 1980s and early 1990s, which viewed human social intelligence as an outgrowth of the urge for manipulation and deceit (Byrne & Whiten, 1988;Whiten & Byrne, 1997), researchers beginning from the late 1990s began to argue for the hypothesis that it was in fact the need for social coordination and cooperation that drove the development of many human social skills and capacities, such as theory of mind (e.g. ...
... Later in infancy, the capacity for joint attention develops into the capacity for joint commitment, in which infants come to recognize norms that are associated with engaging in a shared task or attending to an object together (Gräfenhain et al., 2009;Kachel et al., 2018). By contrast to chimpanzees and other primates, human infants seem to have sophisticated skills and a high degree of motivation to engage not only in instrumental shared tasks, but also in noninstrumental social games and joint attention with their caretakers, and later on in infancy, with their peers (Warneken et al., 2006;Warneken & Tomasello, 2009;Tomasello, 2019). ...
Article
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Discussions of the relations between the social sciences and the cognitive sciences have proliferated in recent years. Our article contributes to the philosophical and methodological foundations of the cognitive social sciences by proposing a framework based on contemporary mechanistic approaches to the philosophy of science to analyze the epistemological, ontological and methodological aspects of research programs at the intersection of the social sciences and the cognitive sciences. We apply this framework to three case studies which address the phenomena of social coordination, transactive memory, and ethnicity. We also assess how successful these research programs have been in providing mechanistic explanations for these phenomena, and where more work remains to be done. Résumé Au cours des dernières années, les relations entre sciences sociales et sciences cognitives ont fait l'objet de nombreuses discussions. Notre article contribue à l'élaboration des fondations philosophiques et méthodologiques des sciences sociales cognitives en proposant un cadre qui se base sur des approches mécaniques contemporaines de la philosophie des sciences afin d'analyser les aspects épistémologiques, ontologiques et méthodologiques des programmes de recherche qui se trouvent à l'intersection des sciences sociales et des sciences cognitives. Nous utilisons ce cadre pour se pencher sur trois études de cas s'intéressant aux phénomènes de coordination sociale, de mémoire transactive et d'ethnicité. Nous évaluons aussi à quel point ces programmes de recherche ont réussi à fournir des explications mécaniques pour ces phénomènes, et où il est désormais nécessaire de concentrer nos efforts.
... To date, there is no clear evidence that animals experience something akin to joint commitment or even understand the consequences of breaking it, which has led to the claim that only humans are capable of shared intentionality (1,14). This claim is based on experiments in which subjects played triadic games (involving a play object) with a human experimenter who then unexpectedly interrupted the game (15). In one study, human children (12 and 24 months) readily attempted to reengage the seemingly reluctant experimenter, while chimpanzees (33 and 51 months) did not (15). ...
... This claim is based on experiments in which subjects played triadic games (involving a play object) with a human experimenter who then unexpectedly interrupted the game (15). In one study, human children (12 and 24 months) readily attempted to reengage the seemingly reluctant experimenter, while chimpanzees (33 and 51 months) did not (15). In other studies, however, chimpanzees (12 to 60 months) and bonobos (all age classes) showed some resumption attempts (16,17). ...
... When social activities were interrupted, subjects consistently resumed with their initial partners, regardless of experimental condition or social relationships-a behavioral pattern that was taken as evidence for joint commitment in previous studies [e.g., (7,15,19)]. It could nonetheless still be argued that subjects resumed social activities more because social activities serve to build relationships and, hence, are by default more rewarding than solitary activities. ...
Article
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Joint action is central to human nature, enabling collectives to achieve goals otherwise unreachable by individuals. It is enabled by humans’ capacity to understand and engage in joint commitments. Joint commitments are evidenced when partners in interrupted joint actions reengage one another. To date, there is no clear evidence whether nonhuman animals understand joint commitment, suggesting that only humans experience it. Here, we revisit this claim by interrupting bonobos engaged in social activities. Bonobos reliably resumed the activity, and the likelihood of resumption was higher for social compared to solitary activities. Furthermore, communicative efforts deployed to suspend and resume social activities varied depending on partners’ social relationships and interactive roles. Our results suggest that bonobos, like humans, engage in joint commitment and have some awareness of the social consequences of breaking it.
... When tested in collaborative tasks, chimpanzees do not reverse roles (Fletcher et al., 2012; nor do they help partners receive rewards after they have received their own (Greenberg et al., 2010;Hamann, Warneken, & Tomasello, 2012). Furthermore, chimpanzees do not reengage reluctant (human) partners in cooperative games, suggesting that they do not understand joint commitment (Warneken, Chen, & Tomasello, 2006). They also show no sign of leave-taking when disengaging from a joint action, and they do not protest when a partner interrupts a joint action (Melis, Hare, & Tomasello, 2006b;Warneken et al., 2006). ...
... Furthermore, chimpanzees do not reengage reluctant (human) partners in cooperative games, suggesting that they do not understand joint commitment (Warneken, Chen, & Tomasello, 2006). They also show no sign of leave-taking when disengaging from a joint action, and they do not protest when a partner interrupts a joint action (Melis, Hare, & Tomasello, 2006b;Warneken et al., 2006). Taken together, these findings suggest that great ape social interactions are driven by individual and competitive motives, rather than human-like cooperation (Hare & Tomasello, 2004;Muller & Mitani, 2005). ...
... For example, in other studies apes did cooperate in triadic activities with human partners (Hirata, Morimura, & Fuwa, 2010;MacLean & Hare, 2013;Pika & Zuberbühler, 2008), suggesting that performance differences may be due to the nature of the task. Also, in laboratory experiments apes are typically required to interact with human experimenters, with whom they do not share a natural communication system, nor a relevant history of reciprocity, which could explain the performance differences between apes and human children (e.g., Warneken et al., 2006). Furthermore, language-trained apes do have the potential to interact with humans in collaborative activities, to understand their communicative conventions and to communicate cooperatively with them (e.g., Gardner & Gardner, 1969;Miles, 1990;Savage-Rumbaugh et al., 1986). ...
Article
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Compared to other animals, humans appear to have a special motivation to share experiences and mental states with others ( Clark, 2006 ; Grice, 1975 ), which enables them to enter a condition of ‘we’ or shared intentionality ( Tomasello & Carpenter, 2005 ). Shared intentionality has been suggested to be an evolutionary response to unique problems faced in complex joint action coordination ( Levinson, 2006 ; Tomasello, Carpenter, Call, Behne, & Moll, 2005 ) and to be unique to humans ( Tomasello, 2014 ). The theoretical and empirical bases for this claim, however, present several issues and inconsistencies. Here, we suggest that shared intentionality can be approached as an interactional achievement, and that by studying how our closest relatives, the great apes, coordinate joint action with conspecifics, we might demonstrate some correlate abilities of shared intentionality, such as the appreciation of joint commitment. We provide seven examples from bonobo joint activities to illustrate our framework.
... In our conceptual framework, "being moved" refers strictly to "being moved by the other's intention." By contrast, what Hobson is arguing here is that children with infantile autism have a relative decreased propensity to identify with others' bodily anchored attitudes toward objects or events in the world, whereby children are rarely emotionally drawn or "moved" to assume the others' psychological attitude and, eventually, to acquire it as a potential attitude for themselves [(104, 105), p. 14-28, [131][132][133][134][135][136][137][138][139][140] 18 . It is plausible to conjecture that it is precisely because children with autism have a relative decreased propensity to identify with others that they also have difficulties factoring in the other's intentions when deliberating on how to pursue their own goal. ...
... However, not all cues are equiprimordial from a developmental perspective, and one might doubt whether children of very young age are able to encode the properties at the basis of these cues. Yet at the same time, research into the early development of joint action has convincingly shown that children from the age of 18 to 24 months can engage in joint actions (139)(140)(141)(142). Given the cognitive demandingness of joint intentionality (34,143), it has been suggested that the joint actions in 18-24 months young children most likely are steered by some form of weintentionality [see (27,49)] 20 . ...
... Said another way, children with severe ASD are typically not impaired when it comes to the superficial form of identifying-with the other. However, when it comes to the developmentally crucial, deeper form of identifyingwith others, children with severe ASD are markedly impaired [(105), p. 14-28, [131][132][133][134][135][136][137][138][139][140]. On Hobson's account, this decreased propensity to identify with others-this relative impairment in the capacity to be "emotionally moved" to assume the other's subjective attitude or perspective and acquire it as a potential perspective for oneself-is the generative disorder in infantile autism or, as he also puts it, "what makes autism autism" [(105), p. 131]. ...
Article
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Schizophrenia and autism are today considered complex spectrum disorders characterized by difficulties in social behavior. Drawing on recent advances in collective or shared intentionality studies, we present a novel theoretical approach to these social difficulties by exploring them from the angle of shared intentionality. We begin by describing two forms of shared intentionality: joint intentionality and we-intentionality. Joint intentionality crucially relies on the agents' mentalizing abilities such as mind reading and the ability to factor in (or "to be moved" by) their partner's intentions in deliberation and action planning. By contrast, we-intentionality relies on the agents' capacity to understand themselves as group members and to adopt the group's perspective. In schizophrenia spectrum disorders, we propose that joint intentionality remains unaffected, but we-intentionality may be impaired. In severe autism spectrum disorder (i.e., infantile autism), we propose that both forms of shared intentionality are impaired. We suggest that the source of the problems affecting we-intentionality in schizophrenia spectrum disorders lies primarily in trait-like, anomalous self-experiences. In severe autism spectrum disorder, we suggest that problems with mind reading, the ability to "be moved" by others' intentions, and with the capacity for perspective-taking impede both forms of shared intentionality.
... Additionally, joint commitments involve a sense of reciprocal obligation to one's partner. This feeling of obligation presumably develops early in human children (Grä fenhain et al., 2009;Grä fenhain et al., 2013), but is disputed in great apes (Warneken et al., 2006; but see new evidence Heesen et al., 2020). ...
... The distinction between joint commitment as process and joint commitment as product opens up new avenues for the assessment of the extent to which joint commitments exist in species other than humans. Indeed, current demonstrations have focused exclusively on joint commitment as product (Grä fenhain et al., 2013;Kachel and Tomasello, 2019;MacLean and Hare, 2013;Pika and Zuberbü hler, 2008;Warneken et al., 2006). However, joint commitment as process is logically prior to joint commitment as product: Joint commitments need to be established as common ground between participants before their normative consequences come into play. ...
... Joint commitment is the ''glue'' that holds joint actions together (Clark, 2006), and it is often viewed as a static state of mutual obligation. Allegedly, only humans have the cognitive capacity to experience joint commitment as product (Tomasello and Carpenter, 2007;Warneken et al., 2006)-although new evidence from bonobos may require a revision of this claim . We here argued that joint commitment is not just a product but also a process Heesen et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Many social animals interact jointly, but only humans experience a specific sense of obligation toward their co-participants, a joint commitment. However, joint commitment is not only a mental state but also a process that reveals itself in the coordination efforts deployed during entry and exit phases of joint action. Here, we investigated the presence and duration of such phases in N = 1,242 natural play and grooming interactions of captive chimpanzees and bonobos. The apes frequently exchanged mutual gaze and communicative signals prior to and after engaging in joint activities with conspecifics, demonstrating entry and exit phases comparable to those of human joint activities. Although rank effects were less clear, phases in bonobos were more moderated by friendship compared to phases in chimpanzees, suggesting bonobos were more likely to reflect patterns analogous to human “face management”. This suggests that joint commitment as process was already present in our last common ancestor with Pan.
... This fusion of developmental and evolutionary perspectives on cooperation has led to comparisons of young children's abilities to cooperate with the cooperative abilities of chimpanzees (e.g., Warneken, Chen, & Tomasello, 2006). To create fair comparisons, cooperation has been measured more formally in experimental paradigms where a child (or chimpanzee) must work together with another to reach a mutual goal. ...
... Even beyond the comparison with other species, experimental measures of children's cooperative problem-solving provide opportunities to chart the development of the ability to work with another person toward a mutual goal. In much past research, young children's cooperative abilities have been assessed with adult experimenters (e.g., Kartner, Schumachker, & Collard, 2014;Meyer, Bekkering, Haartsen, Stapel, & Hunnius, 2015;Warneken et al., 2006;Warneken & Tomasello, 2007). However, to make direct comparisons with the observational literature on cooperative play, as described above, it is important to focus on the extent of cooperative problem-solving between peers. ...
Chapter
Early forms of cooperation and conflict feature regularly in young children's interactions with other people. However, these two types of social interaction are only rarely studied together in the same sample. In this chapter we review studies of cooperation and conflict in children under 3 years of age, with a particular focus on peer interaction. Only a few studies examined cooperation and conflict in parallel. To illustrate how conflict and cooperation can be studied simultaneously, we present findings from a longitudinal study of social development, in which previously unacquainted toddlers were observed during laboratory birthday parties. These analyses revealed that the two types of interaction are positively associated and provide opportunities for young children to refine their social skills.
... De plus, ce type de pointage bénéficie avant tout à l'adulte et implique des capacités de coopération (Liszkowski, Carpenter, Striano, & Tomasello, 2006). Il est même considéré par certains auteurs comme le premier pas vers le développement des aptitudes typiquement humaines pour enseigner et instruire (Liszkowski, 2005 ;Warneken, Chen, & Tomasello, 2006). La production de gestes de pointage informatif implique particulièrement l'hémisphère cérébral gauche. ...
... There is no systematic and established approach to measuring collective intentionality in text. Collective intentionality has been operationalized differently via survey items (Kirgil, Wittek, & Postmes, 2021), problem-solving tasks and games (Warneken et al., 2006) and transcriptions of conversations (McClung et al., 2017;Titlestad, 2019), but previous approaches tend to be quantitative or context-specific. We determined that a more deductive approach that examines collective intentionality qualitatively would make it possible to build a robust measure that can be applied in different contexts. ...
Article
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This mixed-methods study examines how political leaders mobilize collective intentionality during the COVID-19 pandemic in nine US States, and how collective intentionality differs across republican and democratic administrations. The results of our computational and qualitative analyses show that i) political leaders establish collective intentionality by emphasizing unity, vulnerability, action, and community boundaries; ii) political leaders’ call to collective action clashes with the inaction required by health guidelines; iii) social inequalities received little attention across all states compared to other themes; and iv) collective intentionality in democratic administrations is linked to individuals’ agency and actions, suggesting a bottom-up approach. Conversely, in republican administrations individuals’ contributions are downplayed compared to work and state-level action, indicating a top-down approach. This study demonstrates the theoretical and empirical value of collective intentionality in sociological research, and contributes to a better understanding of leadership and prosociality in times of crisis.
... In infants and toddlers, spontaneous helping behavior is indiscriminate and intrinsically motivated. By around 14 months, they help unfamiliar adults in both experimental (e.g., [5,9]) and observational (e.g., [10,11]) studies. While 3-year-olds share less over time with a consistently selfish partner, 2-year-olds continue to share regardless [12,13]. ...
Article
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The present study investigated how linguistic group membership influences prosocial behaviors, namely helpfulness and cooperation, in preschool children. Whilst research indicates that children preferentially direct their prosocial behavior towards members of their own groups, the influence of perceived linguistic group membership on actual helpfulness and cooperation has not been investigated. We presented an experimenter to 4- and 5-year-olds either as a foreigner, who did not speak the local language or as a native person. Children were then given the opportunity to help or cooperate with this experimenter in a series of nonverbal playful tasks. Whilst 4-year-olds helped and cooperated equally with the foreign and the native experimenter, 5-year-olds required significantly more cues and prompts in order to help or cooperate in the foreign condition. We also found that children were overall more reluctant to respond prosocially in the cooperation tasks than in the helping tasks. We tested children in two European countries (France and Hungary) and found the same pattern of responses in the two locations, suggesting that our findings are not specific to the local culture. Our results extend the findings of earlier research that showed selectivity according to the language spoken by the partner for sharing and imitation. Studies that looked at helpfulness or cooperation used the minimal group paradigm to induce group membership (based on arbitrary cues) and used indirect measures of prosociality, such as different forms of reasoning about the partner. In our study, we used language, a natural cue for group membership (versus arbitrary cues or cues based on social conventions) and directly observed children's helpful and cooperative behaviors toward the experimenter. Our results also confirm previous results indicating that with age, children become selective in their prosocial behaviors as they acquire new means of social evaluation and categorization. We conclude that the language associated with a potential social partner is not only a cue for affiliation and shared knowledge but also a cue mediating children's prosocial acts.
... In contrast with our closest evolutionary relatives who engage in cooperative activities when it is instrumental to achieve their goal [5,6], human adults are willing and able to coordinate with others to cooperate in a variety of domains, managing to establish large scale joint actions as well as mastering interpersonal coordination at the millisecond scale [7]. 1 Humans' cooperative skills and motivation emerge early on in ontogeny. Evidence from developmental psychology shows that, beginning in their second year of life, toddlers engage in cooperative activities such as helping or complementing a partner's action to achieve a common goal [9][10][11]. Along with a precocious ability to cooperate with others, humans show a strong motivation to do so. ...
Article
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Joint actions are cooperative activities where humans coordinate their actions to achieve individual and shared goals. While the motivation to engage in joint action is clear when a goal cannot be achieved by individuals alone, we asked whether humans are motivated to act together even when acting together is not necessary and implies incurring additional costs compared to individual goal achievement. Using a utility-based empirical approach, we investigated the extent of humans' preference for joint action over individual action, when the instrumental costs of performing joint actions outweigh the benefits. The results of five experiments showed that human adults have a stable preference for joint action, even if individual action is more effective to achieve a certain goal. We propose that such preferences can be understood as ascribing additional reward value to performing actions together.
... We experience implicit commitments in everyday life situations when agents feel and act committed even though no commitment was explicitly acknowledged (Gilbert 2006). Research in developmental psychology indicates cases of implicit commitments by showing that young children are capable of engaging in joint actions which rely on an interpersonal commitment without an explicit acknowledgment (Warneken 2006). Therefore, it seems uncontroversial to claim that commitments can also be realized in an implicit way. ...
Article
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Up to now, our understanding of sociality is neatly tied to living beings. However, recent developments in Artificial Intelligence make it conceivable that we may entertain social interactions with artificial systems in the near future. With reference to minimal approaches describing socio-cognitive abilities, this paper presents a strategy of how social interactions between humans and artificial agents can be captured. Taking joint actions as a paradigmatic example, minimal necessary conditions for artificial agents are elaborated. To this end, it is first argued that multiple realizations of socio-cognitive abilities can lead to asymmetric cases of joint actions. In a second step, minimal conditions of agency and coordination in order to qualify as social agents in joint actions are discussed.
... In an interesting study, researchers compared a couple of children bouncing a ball back and forth to each other on a trampoline with a couple of chimpanzees doing the same thing. It turned out that children engaged in this mundane game for much longer than the chimpanzees despite there not really being an obvious goal or point to the task (Warnecken et al. 2006). To explain this result psychologists Michael Tomasello and Melinda Carpenter suggest it is simply because 'humans collaborate just for the sake of collaborating ' (2007: 123). ...
Article
In this article, I consider my relationship with my father who developed Alzheimer's disease and criticize dominant models of social interactions and relationships. I argue that the point of a relationship is not what we exchange or achieve within it. The point is not even that we depend on others for our vital needs. The point is simply that a relationship is valuable in and of itself.
... Regarding secondary intersubjectivity, despite the apparent importance of joint attention for human cognition and interconnectedness, there has been surprisingly little research in non-human primates. In chimpanzees and bonobos, the few studies conducted so far have reached different conclusions and have shown the importance of the early rearing environment in shaping "human-like" joint attentional skills (Bard 1994;Carpenter & Tomasello 1995;Boesch 2005;Warneken et al. 2006;Pika & Zuberbühler 2008;Heesen et al. 2020). Further investigation is necessary to verify the differences across humans, chimpanzees and other hominids. ...
... An alternative interpretation of the current results is that 18-month-old toddlers were less able to represent others' needs during the disruption phase, when no direct behavioral cues of others' needs were observable. Nevertheless, this seems implausible, because the task was very simple and, in previous studies, where 18-month-olds interacted with an experimenter in more complex cooperative games, the children attempted to reengage the experimenter when he was interrupted (Warneken, Chen, & Tomasello, 2006). These findings suggest that children at 18 months are already able to keep a shared goal in mind, even if their cooperation partner is not performing the task simultaneously. ...
Article
What drives toddlers' helping behavior? And do toddlers' helping motivations change across time? In line with Dahl and Paulus (2019), we propose that initially, toddlers start helping in ongoing chores driven by their interest in social interactions, and, later on, their helping becomes more concern based, or based on a sense of responsibility. To test this assumption, we used a longitudinal approach to examine the role that social interaction plays in toddlers' motivation to help as they grow older. As such, we investigated whether a disruption to an experimenter during a shared chore task affected toddlers' motivations to continue helping at the ages of 18, 21 and 24 months. Results showed that toddlers at 18 months were less likely to continue helping when the experimenter was disrupted from the shared task, in comparison to toddlers at 21 and at 24 months. These findings support the idea that toddlers develop from socially based participators into more prosocially based contributors.
... The underlying ontogenetic mechanisms whereby language emerges in infant humans, namely joint attention and proto-conversations, are not present in non-human primates. Attempts to show joint attention in chimps showed negative results (Warneken, 2006;Warneken et al., 2006). ...
Article
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This paper presents 13 hypotheses regarding the specific behavioral abilities that emerged at key milestones during the 600-million-year phylogenetic history from early bilaterians to extant humans. The behavioral, intellectual, and cognitive faculties of humans are complex and varied: we have abilities as diverse as map-based navigation, theory of mind, counterfactual learning, episodic memory, and language. But these faculties, which emerge from the complex human brain, are likely to have evolved from simpler prototypes in the simpler brains of our ancestors. Understanding the order in which behavioral abilities evolved can shed light on how and why our brains evolved. To propose these hypotheses, I review the available data from comparative psychology and evolutionary neuroscience.
... Tomasello (2014, p. 38, 40). 25 Apes sometimes help humans and conspecifics by handing them out-of-reach objects. Cf. Warneken et al. (2006). Control conditions show that they are prepared to help even without external incentives (rewards). ...
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... In a coalitionary context, when there is an asymmetry in affect and participation in attacking an opponent, the angrier monkey will sometimes tug on the body parts of the ally or bounce ferociously while in body contact with the ally, presumably to rev up the partner's enthusiasm for the joint attack; these tactics are generally successful in creating more symmetric emotional engagement. Interestingly, in contrast with human children, young captive chimpanzees fail to re-engage human adult partners in activities following interruptions [19]. Possibly, the finding that capuchins and humans, but not chimpanzees, exhibit partner re-engagement is evidence of convergent evolution between capuchins and humans regarding awareness of joint commitment towards common goals among partners. ...
Article
Many white-faced capuchin monkey dyads in Lomas Barbudal, Costa Rica, practise idiosyncratic interaction sequences that are not part of the species-typical behavioural repertoire. These interactions often include uncomfortable or risky elements. These interactions exhibit the following characteristics commonly featured in definitions of rituals in humans: (i) they involve an unusual intensity of focus on the partner, (ii) the behaviours have no immediate utilitarian purpose, (iii) they sometimes involve ‘sacred objects’, (iv) the distribution of these behaviours suggests that they are invented and spread via social learning, and (v) many behaviours in these rituals are repurposed from other behavioural domains (e.g. extractive foraging). However, in contrast with some definitions of ritual, capuchin rituals are not overly rigid in their form, nor do the sequences have specific opening and closing actions. In our 9260 h of observation, ritual performance rate was uncorrelated with amount of time dyads spent in proximity but (modestly) associated with higher relationship quality and rate of coalition formation across dyads. Our results suggest that capuchin rituals serve a bond-testing rather than a bond-strengthening function. Ritual interactions are exclusively dyadic, and between-dyad consistency in form is low, casting doubt on the alternative hypothesis that they enhance group-wide solidarity. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Ritual renaissance: new insights into the most human of behaviours’.
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Interaction quality during cooperative exchanges affects children's ability to successfully coordinate their actions with a same-aged peer to attain a shared goal. However, it is unclear how initial interactions in one context shape children's ability to cooperate in a subsequent task. In the current research, we examined whether the interaction quality (e.g., affiliation, antagonism, joint coordinated engagement, joint contribution) of a warm-up period between 2-year-old unfamiliar dyads (N = 144 dyads) predicts the dyad's performance and interaction quality in a following cooperative task. Children who participated more effectively during a toy clean-up activity at the end of the warm-up interaction were more likely to respond to their partner's efforts to cooperate in the novel cooperative task. Initial displays of affiliation during the warm-up period appeared to enhance cooperative ability by facilitating cooperative motivation. The current research demonstrates that initial interactions influence toddlers' cooperative performance and thus highlights the importance of considering task order and children's social behaviors when designing studies on cooperative competence.
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This article introduces an accessible approach to implementing unmoderated remote research in developmental science – research in which children and families participate in studies remotely and independently, without directly interacting with researchers. Unmoderated remote research has the potential to strengthen developmental science by: (1) facilitating the implementation of studies that are easily replicable, (2) allowing for new approaches to longitudinal studies and studies of parent-child interaction, and (3) including families from more diverse backgrounds and children growing up in more diverse environments in research. We describe an approach we have used to design and implement unmoderated remote research that is accessible to researchers with limited programming expertise, and we describe the resources we have made available on a new website (discoveriesonline.org) to help researchers get started with implementing this approach. We discuss the potential of this method for developmental science and highlight some challenges still to be overcome to harness the power of unmoderated remote research for advancing the field.
Book
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(This is the introdution form: https://www.mentis.de/view/title/57822) How do we know if animals can think? In extension of the previous debate on human-animal relations, this book analyzes the conditions and contexts of the scientific acquisition of our knowledge of animals. The current discussions within animal philosophy revolve around the three central questions of whether we can attribute a mind to animals, what the difference between humans and animals is, and how humans should behave towards animals. Our knowledge about animals is mostly taken from empirical research. However, the methods, theories, and contexts of empirical research have not yet been addressed. The book aims to fill this gap with the central concept of methodological signatures, which allows the systematic comparison of research approaches based on their fundamental methodological, ontological, and epistemological assumptions.
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Hypotheses regarding the evolution of uniquely human social cognition often emphasize not only mental state representation, but also mental state sharing. Mental state sharing is evident in instances of joint intentionality – mutual understanding between individuals of each other's simultaneous and interdependent commitment to a shared activity or goal. Comparative studies supporting the human uniqueness of joint intentionality show that, as compared to human children, chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, who engage with humans as cooperative partners do not altruistically help others achieve their goals across the same range of contexts, do not attempt to re-engage cooperative partners in problem-solving or social games at the same rate and do not show spontaneous role reversal. Although recent work supports the possibility that bonobos, Pan paniscus, may re-engage conspecific partners after interrupted social grooming, the extent to which other animals show similar behaviour across more diverse contexts remains largely unexplored. Domestic dogs', Canis familiaris, propensity to interact with humans in cooperative contexts makes them a potentially promising comparative model of prosocial mental state sharing. Here, we investigated a behavioural signature of joint intentionality during social play between humans and dogs (N = 82). Our results present the first experimental evidence of re-engagement behaviour in dogs, as dogs preferentially attempted to reinitiate an interrupted social game with their previous partner relative to a passive bystander. These findings suggest that dogs exhibit a key marker of joint intentionality and open the door for future research on the cognitive mechanisms supporting this behaviour.
Research
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Abduktion und Sozialität
Thesis
Several studies in past lines of research have demonstrated the detrimental impact of derogatory terms, epithets and slurs on stereotyping and prejudice towards minorities. In an attempt to broaden previous findings, we investigated the influence of positive labels attributed to the majority group on the perception on a minority group member. Primarily, we anticipated that the use of the label “straight”, rather than “heterosexual”, might convey an implicit, strong association between the social majority group and a sense of moral rectitude, which might prompt a negative response to homosexual men. In order to test the hypothesis, we conducted two experimental studies involving heterosexual subjects, where a social majority target was presented as “straight” (vs. “heterosexual”); next, we assessed participants’ attitudes towards a minority-group representative social target (i.e., a homosexual male). The analysis revealed a negative effect of the label “straight” on attitudes towards the minority group member only for strongly religious individuals.
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The ability to understand the mental states of other individuals is central to human social behavior, yet some theory of mind capacities are shared with other species. Comparisons of theory of mind skills across humans and other primates can provide a critical test of the cognitive prerequisites necessary for different theory of mind skills to emerge. A fundamental difference between humans and non-humans is language: while language may scaffold some developing theory of mind skills in humans, other species do not have similar capacities for or immersion in language. Comparative work can therefore provide a new line of evidence to test the role of language in the emergence of complex social cognition. Here we first provide an overview of the evidence for shared aspects of theory of mind in other primates, and then examine the evidence for apparently human-unique aspects of theory of mind that may be linked to language. We finally contrast different evolutionary processes, such as competition and cooperation, that may have been important for primate social cognition versus human-specific forms of theory of mind. We argue that this evolutionary perspective can help adjudicate between different proposals on the link between human-specific forms of social cognition and language.
Preprint
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Paul Grice's theory of meaning has been widely adopted as a starting point for investigating the evolutionary and developmental emergence of linguistic communication. In this picture, reasoning about complexes of intentions is a prerequisite for communicating effectively at the prelinguistic level, as well as for acquiring a natural language. We argue that this broadly 'Gricean' picture rests on an equivocation between theories of communication and theories of cognition, and that it leads to paradoxical or implausible claims about human psychology. We defend an alternative conception of prelinguistic communication, inspired by Bart Geurts and based on the notion of commitment. Adopting a commitment-first approach makes it possible to avoid the pernicious equivocation, and it provides a better systematization of the key empirical findings. We develop our argument with respect to (1) infants' sensitivity to 'ostensive signals'; (2) infants' pointing; (3) and infants' endorsement of normative attitudes in joint activities. Finally, adopting a commitment-first approach makes it possible to argue that sophisticated forms of psychological reasoning are enabled by the mastery of a rich natural language, rather than being a prerequisite for acquiring one.
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Cooperative interactions are an essential aspect of human life, which children start to engage in the course of toddlerhood. Cooperation can often be challenging and requires repair and realignment. So far, little effort has been made to investigate how young children deal with emotionally challenging cooperative interactions. Therefore, we examined which factors explain 24-month-old toddlers’ (n = 90) behavior to interruptions in two frustrating cooperative interactions, that is, their disengagement from the task, approach to the mother, active help seeking, and reengagement. We focused on child temperament (i.e., shyness) and child cognitive skills (i.e., language and self-control), and were especially interested whether mother–child interaction quality (i.e., sensitivity and non-intrusiveness) contributes beyond child characteristics. Results indicated that maternal intrusiveness significantly predicted more child disengagement and more approach to the mother. Furthermore, toddler self-control was positively associated with approach to mother, while toddler language skills were positively related to active help seeking. Reengagement was neither predicted by child characteristics nor by maternal emotional availability. We discuss how the findings of the current study expand our knowledge of the factors that impact toddlers’ social competencies and coping strategies in emotionally challenging cooperative interactions with others.
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Typically-developing (TD) children under age 5 often deny that they can see a person whose eyes are covered (e.g., Moll & Khalulyan, 2017). This has been interpreted as a manifestation of their preference for reciprocal interactions. We investigated how 3- to 4-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, n = 12) respond in this situation. Because a lack of interpersonal connectedness and reciprocal communication are core features of this disorder, we predicted that young children with ASD will not make mutual regard a condition for seeing another person and therefore acknowledge being able to see her. Against this prediction, children with ASD gave the same negative answers as a group of TD (n = 36) age-mates. Various interpretations are discussed, including the possibility that some children with ASD are capable of relating to others as second persons.
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Retracing the evolutionary steps by which human brains evolved can offer insights into the underlying mechanisms of human brain function as well as the phylogenetic origin of various features of human behavior. To this end, this article presents a model for interpreting the physical and behavioral modifications throughout major milestones in human brain evolution. This model introduces the concept of a “breakthrough” as a useful tool for interpreting suites of brain modifications and the various adaptive behaviors these modifications enabled. This offers a unique view into the ordered steps by which human brains evolved and suggests several unique hypotheses on the mechanisms of human brain function.
Chapter
In its Anglo-American iteration, performatics focuses on the contemporary performance perceived in terms of an “event.” I propose extending this field of study by including a historical perspective. The performative approach is per-fectly suited for reconstructing past – even pre- historic – events. This, howev-er, requires expanding research competences quite considerably. Since its very onset, the methodology of performance studies has been intrinsically eclectic. Historical performatics picks up and continues this tendency, for it is not a “historical” science in the strict sense of the term. The point is that, instead of interpreting and explaining events, performatics seeks to reconstruct them. Additionally, this reconstruction takes place at various levels and in various areas. To better grasp the strategies of the research method I put forward, let us use a case study, specifically, a short reconstruction of an event which was critical to the evolution of our species – the emergence of spoken language
Article
Two experiments investigated the proclivity of 14-month-old infants (a) to altruistically help others toward individual goals, and (b) to cooperate toward a shared goal. The infants helped another person by handing over objects the other person was unsuccessfully reaching for, but did not help reliably in situations involving more complex goals. When a programmed adult partner interrupted a joint cooperative activity at specific moments, infants sometimes tried to reengage the adult, perhaps indicating that they understood the interdependency of actions toward a shared goal. However, as compared to 18- and 24-month-olds, their skills in behaviorally coordinating their actions with a social partner remained rudimentary. Results are integrated into a model of cooperative activities as they develop over the 2nd year of life.
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(Auszug aus: TierEthik 13(2)2021, S. 7-38 Open Access: https://www.tierethik.net/data/2021-02/TE_2021_2_BoehnertKoechy.pdf) Zusammenfassung: In den aktuellen Debatten über die Verhältnisse und Beziehungen zwischen Menschen und nicht-menschlichen Tieren wird das jeweilige Wissen über Tiere häufig von den Naturwissenschaften übernommen. Hierbei wird jedoch weitestgehend unterschlagen, dass auch in der empirischen Tierforschung Verhältnisse und Beziehungen dieser Art vorliegen und auch diese Konstellationen zwischen Forschenden und Erforschten sowohl ethische als auch epistemische Relevanz haben. Die Vermitteltheit und die Interpretationsbedürftigkeit dieses empirischen Wissens systematisch zu erfassen und kritisch zu reflektieren, ist das Kernanliegen der Philosophie der Tierforschung (Böhnert, Köchy & Wunsch, 2016-2018). Hierzu nutzt sie zwei zentrale Analysekonzepte: Die methodologische Leerstelle der Forschung und die individuelle methodologische Signatur von Forschungsansätzen. Ziel dieses Beitrages ist es, in beide Konzepte einzuführen und ihre Aufschlusskraft für die Befunde der Tierforschung darzulegen. Hierzu wird eine Beispielanalyse zweier konkreter Fallbeispiele der empirischen Erforschung kognitiver Vermögen von Menschenaffen vorgenommen, um deren fundamentale Vorannahmen sichtbar zu machen und diese als aktive wissenschaftliche Praktiken zu begreifen, die bereits vor jeder empirischen Forschungstätigkeit zentrale epistemische und ethische Weichenstellungen vornehmen. Um dies zu verdeutlichen, zeigen wir auf, welche epistemischen Konsequenzen divergierende Leerstellenbestimmungen mit Blick auf i) die zu untersuchenden tierlichen Vermögen, ii) die Konzeptionierung der Forschungsorte und iii) die ontologische Erfassung der zu erforschenden Tiere haben. Vor dem Hintergrund der sich aus diesen Entscheidungen ergebenden Konstellationen zwischen Forschenden und Erforschten skizzieren wir zwei gegenläufige Forschungsstrategien, die schließlich hinsichtlich ihrer ethischen Implikationen beleuchtet werden und ein komplexes Netz verwobener epistemischer, methodologischer, ontologischer und ethischer Entscheidungen der Tierforschung offen legen. Schlüsselwörter: Tierphilosophie, Tierforschung, Tierkognition, Wissenschaftsphilosophie Summary: In current debates about the relationships between humans and nonhuman animals, knowledge about animals is often adopted from the sciences. However, this largely ignores the fact that relationships of this kind also exist in empirical animal research and that these constellations between researchers and the researched have both ethical and epistemic relevance. The core objective of the Philosophy of Animal Research (Böhnert, Köchy & Wunsch, 2016-2018) is to systematically capture and critically reflect on the mediated character and the need for interpretation of this empirical knowledge. To this end, it uses two central analytical concepts: The methodological gap of research and the individual methodological signature of research approaches. The aim of this paper is to introduce both  Der vollständige Beitrag findet sich als Open Access Publikation in: TierEthik 13(2)2021, S. 7-38. concepts and to illustrate their explanatory capacity for the study of animal research. To this end, an exemplary analysis of two actual case studies of empirical research on cognitive capacities in great apes is undertaken. The aim is to make the fundamental presuppositions of both research programs visible and to understand them as active scientific practices that already set central epistemic and ethical directions prior to any empirical research activity. To illustrate this, we show what epistemic consequences divergent determinations of methodological gaps have with regard to i) the animal capacities to be studied, ii) the conceptualisation of the research places and iii) the ontological ascertainment of the animals to be researched. Against the background of the constellations between researchers and the researched which result from these decisions, we outline two opposing research strategies, which are finally examined with regard to their ethical implications-revealing a complex portrait of interwoven epistemic, methodological, ontological and ethical decisions in animal research.
Article
Previous comparisons of language and morality have taken a cognitively internalist (i.e., within-minds) perspective. We take a socially externalist (i.e., between-minds) perspective, viewing both language and morality as forms of social action. During human evolution, social cognitive adaptations for cooperation evolved, including cooperative communication (social acts to mentally coordinate with others for common goals) and social normativity (social acts to regulate cooperative social relationships). As human cooperation scaled up in complexity, cooperative communication and social normativity scaled up as well, leading to the development of culturally elaborated forms of language and morality. Language facilitates all aspects of morality and is even necessary for certain aspects. Humans use language to (1) initiate, (2) preserve, (3) revise, and (4) act on morality in ways such as forming joint commitments, teaching norms, modifying social realities, and engaging in moral reason-giving.
Article
Cooperative behaviour paves our development and accompanies us in our daily activities. This article suggests a possible way of exploring cooperation from a cultural perspective under the process‐relational worldview. Firstly, a theoretical framework is proposed that combines a process‐relational worldview with a cultural perspective in psychology and an enactive approach to social cognition in collaborative research. Next, a pathway from comparative studies on cooperative behaviours to cultural approaches looking into what cooperation means and how it is expressed is presented on the basis of the research conducted so far. A critique of previous research has been undertaken, with a focus on their limitations. The aim is to show that the theoretical framework of an embodied, embedded and enactive approach in contemporary developmental sciences along with cultural psychology complement each other, expanding the scope for the study of the development of cooperative behaviours. Research proposals embedded in theoretical reasoning are presented with their scientific value emphasised.
Article
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Bu araştırmanın amacı Shoshani (2018) tarafından geliştirilen Karakter Güçleri Envanteri Erken Çocukluk Formu'nun Türkçeye uyarlanarak geçerlik ve güvenirlik çalışmasının yapılmasıdır. Bu amaç doğrultusunda, okul öncesi eğitim kurumlarına devam eden 4-6 yaş çocukların ebeveynlerinden 311 araştırma verisi elde edilmiştir. Envanterin orijinal formu 96 madde, 24 alt faktör ve 4 temel boyuttan oluşmaktadır. Uyarlanan envanterden elde edilen veriler ile orijinal formun yapısına uygunluğunu incelemek için doğrulayıcı faktör analizi (DFA) yapılmış, DFA sonucunda ölçeğin orijinal formunun korunduğu görülmüştür. Envanterin güvenirlik analizleri için iç tutarlık katsayıları ve düzeltilmiş madde toplam korelasyonları hesaplanmıştır. Elde edilen Cronbach alfa katsayıları kişilerarası güçler boyutu için 0.91; entelektüel güçler boyutu için 0.86; ölçülülük boyutu için 0.88 ve aşkınlık boyutu için 0.89 olarak hesaplanmıştır. Yapılan analizler neticesinde Karakter Güçleri Envanteri Erken Çocukluk Formu'nun Türk kültüründe geçerli ve güvenilir bir ölçme aracı olduğu belirlenmiştir. ABSTRACT The purpose of the current study is to adapt the Character Strengths Inventory for Early Childhood developed by Shoshani (2018) to Turkish by conducting its validity and reliability studies. To this end, a total of 311 research data were collected from the parents of 4-6 year olds attending preschool institutions. The original form of the inventory consists of 96 items, 24 sub-factors and 4 main dimensions. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was run to investigate the compliance of the data collected from the adapted inventory with the construct of the original form and as a result of this CFA, it was found that the construct of the original scale was retained. For the reliability analyses of the scale, internal consistency coefficients and item total correlations were calculated. The calculated Cronbach alpha coefficients are as follows: 0.91 for the Interpersonal Strengths dimension; 0.86 for the Intellectual Strengths dimension; 0.88 for the Temperance dimension and 0.89 for the Transcendence dimension. As a result of the analyses, it was concluded that the Character Strengths Inventory for Early Childhood can be used as a valid and reliable measurement tool in the Turkish culture.
Article
Prosocial behaviours appear very early in a child’s development, suggesting that they are the basis for building social relationships. Previous studies have shown that two main factors influence decisions about pro-social behaviour: in-group membership and reciprocity. The main aim of this study was to investigate which of these motives children consider more important in making decisions about who to ask for help, resources, cooperation, or comfort. Children were given a choice to ask for those favours from either a friend or an out-group child who was recently a recipient of the child’s prosocial behaviour. In a study on children aged 4 to 6 years old with two research samples (sample 1: n = 60, sample 2: n = 71), we showed that reciprocity of recent prosocial behaviour is a stronger predictor than friendship when choosing a character in a helping need, resource sharing or cooperation related need, but not for a comforting need. Furthermore, this effect seems to be limited to reciprocating only the same type of pro-social behaviour.
Article
Our species has deep prehistoric roots in egalitarian and antiauthoritarian bands of nomadic hunter-gatherers. As large agricultural societies develop after the Neolithic revolution 10,000 years ago, despotic rulers, social hierarchies and brutal social inequalities begin to emerge. Through the immensely long arc of the history of our species the pendulum has swung between authoritarianism and antiauthoritarianism, egalitarianism and hierarchy, cooperation and competition, collective solidarity and individual selfishness. Recognizing these oscillations is a key to understanding the political and social nature of our species. As I show, our capacity to control bullies and tyrants and our longing for autonomy and freedom have deep roots in the egalitarian ways of life of nomadic foragers that prevailed during 100,000 years of the prehistory of our species or perhaps much longer. A better understanding about what is known about this prehistory gives us reasons to believe that “the better angels of our nature” are not just historical products, but are indeed rooted in human nature.
Article
Research has shown that preschoolers developing in Western societies increase sharing after collaborating to earn resources, suggesting that collaboration is an important context for the development of fairness. The current study sought to explore the influence of collaboration on sharing among young children (N = 132, 3–6 years of age) developing in rural India, a population that shows an increased sensitivity to fairness after collaboration among older children. The effect of three forms of social interaction on children’s sharing were compared: collaborating toward a joint concrete goal of earning resources that could subsequently be shared, collaborating toward a joint concrete goal without earning resources, and playing a social game without earning resources. The only context where children increased sharing was after collaborating toward a joint concrete goal without earning resources. Overall, these findings suggest that increased sharing between collaborators may show greater contextual sensitivity and influence of early sociocultural experience than has been previously understood.
Article
By around 3 years of age, collaboration induces in young children a normative sense of "we" that creates a sense of obligation (e.g., commitment, fairness) toward their collaborative partner. The current study investigated whether this normative sense of we could be induced purely verbally in 3- and 4-year-old children. Children joined a puppet at a table to draw. In one condition the puppet repeatedly framed things as "we" are going to sit at the table, "we" are going to draw, and so forth, whereas in the other condition the pronoun used was always "you." Dependent measures gauged children's commitment, resource distribution, and helping behavior toward their partner. Results showed that both 3- and 4-year-olds felt a greater sense of commitment to their partner after "we"-framing than after "you"-framing. The 4-year-olds evidenced this commitment by showing a greater reluctance to abandon their partner for a more fun game compared with the 3-year-olds. The 3-year-olds did not share this reluctance, but when they did abandon their partner they more often took leave following we-framing by "announcing" their leaving. There were no effects of we-framing on children's sharing with their partner or helping behavior. These results suggest that verbal we-framing, as compared with you-framing, is an effective means of inducing in children a sense of shared agency and commitment with a partner.
Article
From an early age, children act generously towards one another, but the situational features that promote generous decision‐making remain under investigation. The current study tests the impact of being identifiable—as a recipient of generosity, a giver, or both—on children's generosity. Six‐year‐old children (N = 129) allocated resources to a recipient during a video chat paradigm. Children were most generous when both they and the recipient could identify one another (i.e., in the case of mutual identification). Children were less generous in an anonymous situation and in ‘one‐sided’ situations in which only the recipient or only the giver was identifiable to the other child. These results illustrate that mutual identification, an ecologically valid experience of being able to identify and be identified by a recipient of one's generous action, is an especially powerful contributor to generous decision‐making in childhood. Further, insofar as increasing generosity among children is a goal, these results indicate that increasing identifiability among givers and recipients may be an effective way to achieve this goal.
Article
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We propose that the crucial difference between human cognition and that of other species is the ability to participate with others in collaborative activities with shared goals and intentions: shared intentionality. Participation in such activities requires not only especially powerful forms of intention reading and cultural learning, but also a unique motivation to share psychological states with others and unique forms of cognitive representation for doing so. The result of participating in these activities is species-unique forms of cultural cognition and evolution, enabling everything from the creation and use of linguistic symbols to the construction of social norms and individual beliefs to the establishment of social institutions. In support of this proposal we argue and present evidence that great apes (and some children with autism) understand the basics of intentional action, but they still do not participate in activities involving joint intentions and attention (shared intentionality). Human children's skills of shared intentionality develop gradually during the first 14 months of life as two ontogenetic pathways intertwine: (1) the general ape line of understanding others as animate, goal-directed, and intentional agents; and (2) a species-unique motivation to share emotions, experience, and activities with other persons. The developmental outcome is children's ability to construct dialogic cognitive representations, which enable them to participate in earnest in the collectivity that is human cognition.
Article
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The aim of this study was to assess the ability of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to cooperate in an instrumental task. A specially constructed fruit distributor was presented to a group of six captive chimpanzees. A cooperative response required two chimpanzees: both had to pull a handle simultaneously to make a fruit fall into the cage. The dominant male of the group and an infant produced most of the operant responses, and the male got nearly all the fruits. Other conspecifics avoided the dominant male at the apparatus. Social influences appear to limit the possibility of co-operation between individuals because a certain level of interindividual tolerance is required. The results revealed a significant increase in the number of pulls each time both chimpanzees were together at the apparatus. Operant chimpanzees learn to coordinate their actions in time and space.
Article
This chapter presents analytic methods for matched studies with multiple risk factors of interest. We consider matched sample designs of two types, prospective (cohort or randomized) and retrospective (case-control) studies. We discuss direct and indirect parametric modeling of matched sample data and then focus on conditional logistic regression in matched case-control studies. Next, we describe the general case for matched samples including polytomous outcomes. An illustration of matched sample case-control analysis is presented. A problem solving section appears at the end of the chapter.
Book
On Social Facts (1989/1992) offers a general characterization of the social domain of human life. It arrives at this characterization by means of detailed discussions of a number of central social phenomena, including: acting together, social groups, social convention, group belief, and group languages. In discussing these phenomena the author draws on the writings of the founders of sociology----in particular Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, and Max Weber---and the work of philosophers including Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Peter Winch, and Wittgenstein. Discussion of the specific social phenomena in question leads to a single overarching thesis: that the core social phenomena among human beings are "plural subject" phenomena involving the "joint commitment" of the people in question.
Article
Concerning hunting in chimpanzees, cooperation has generally been attributed to the behaviour of two or more individuals acting together to achieve a common goal (Boesch and Boesch, 1989). The common goal is often considered as the concrete result of a common action by two or several individuals. Although this result could be used as a criterion for cooperation, it could also be an outcome due to chance. We suggest that the goal, viewed as a concrete benefit shared by the partners, is not a requisite of cooperation but rather a possible consequence of a common action largely submitted to social constraints. Individuals engaged in a cooperative task in order to solve a problem have to exchange information to adjust to each other's behaviour. However, evidence of communication between partners during simultaneous cooperation is rare. An experiment in which two chimpanzees each had to simultaneously pull a handle to get a fruit was performed. We analysed not only the concrete result of the partners' activity but also what the individuals took into account before pulling a handle. We tried to specify what the chimpanzees learned by means of a series of logical propositions which we were able to confront the experimental results.
Book
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
Fourteen dyads of unfamiliar peers (White, both same gender and mixed gender) were observed longitudinally at 16, 20, 24, 28, and 32 months of age. Verbalizations to the peer were analyzed for their social function with respect to the ongoing nonverbal activity and their temporal and topical coherence to prior talk. Six types of speech ( including verbal directives and topically well-connected speech) increased in frequency only after the peer partners had shown a marked increase in their readiness to imitate each other's nonverbal actions. These same types of speech occurred reliably more often when the peers were engaged in bouts of coordinated action generated largely by means of nonverbal imitative acts than during bouts of less coordinated nonverbal activity. Toddlers, through their nonverbal imitative activity, appear to create joint understandings of what they are doing together that aid in their use and development of verbal means of achieving coordinated action. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study observed 28 toddlers longitudinally at 16, 20, 24, 28, and 32 months reacting to an adult's programmed play overtures. Ss' actions were coded for (a) their relation to the adult's overture (coordinated, interfering, tangential, and unrelated), (b) alternative overtures to the adult, and (c) the uses of sounds/words. Coordinated responses increased with age; most consisted of nonverbal imitation, but, with increasing age, more involved verbal imitation and verbally directing the adult. Alternative overtures also increased with age and were increasingly repeated in same or varied form. Finally, words were increasingly used to regulate the activity between toddler and adult: In their coordinated responses, toddlers increasingly described their own actions and directed the adult; in their alternative overtures, they verbally requested the adult to assume a new role. A proposed model integrates developmental changes in forming and maintaining social coordinations with changes in negotiating the topic for coordinated action. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Recorded early forms of cooperation and sharing displayed by 12-, 18-, and 24-mo-old children in the course of the children's interactions with their parents in a play setting. Eight children at each age were observed. One 12-, 7 18-, and 7 24-mo-olds engaged the parent in cooperative interchanges characterized by coordinated operations on a mutual array of toys. The children also shared by showing and giving objects to the parent. Showing was recorded for 7 of the 12-mo-olds and all of the older children, and giving was recorded for 4 12-, 8 18-, and 7 24-mo-olds. The sharing data for the 18-mo-olds did not depart reliably from previous findings. Both cooperative interchanges and sharing appeared to increase in frequency in the course of the 2nd year. The 3 behaviors were reliably interrelated. Although the relation of these activities to later sharing and cooperation is unclear, they serve contemporary prosocial functions and provide opportunities for further prosocial learning. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
24-month-old toddlers were observed interacting with a programmed adult partner to assess how being imitated leads to imitative acts by toddlers and the generation of social games. For 8 toddlers, the partner imitated the toddler's actions on objects; for 8 others, she performed a different, parallel action on the same play material. The former reaction approximates conditions after repeated imitation of one another emerges in peer interaction around 24 months of age—the latter, conditions of the immediately prior developmental period. When imitated, toddlers were more likely to (a) continue to act on the object, (b) repeat their same action on that object given that they continued, (c) generate games, especially imitation games, and (d) look at the partner's face. These social influence processes are thought to operate in naturally occurring peer interactions and to contribute to the new forms of behavioral organization seen around 24 months of age. The study illustrates a dynamic systems approach to behavioral organization and development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
48 dyads of 15-, 18-, 21-, and 24-mo-olds were observed for 24-min periods. Members of 32 experimental dyads had received adult-directed experience in particular social games that could be played with the 4 sets of toys provided; 16 control dyads had played independently with the toys. Ss used new rather than old roles to invite the peer to play, to respond to play invitations, and to play games. The prior game experience influenced 15- and 18-mo-olds who used old role overtures more frequently in experimental than in control dyads. Younger dyads also used old roles generally more often than older dyads. Whereas the frequency of brief sequences of interaction declined over this age period, the frequency and structural complexity of games increased. Results are discussed in terms of the creativity displayed as Ss developed games and the mutual understanding of roles displayed as they played. (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This chapter asks how cognitive development occurs in and is promoted by individuals' collaboration with others. I examine theory and research on processes of collaboration and their implications for cognitive development, as well as on how collaborative processes develop as people participate in the activities of their communities. The chapter begins with consideration of two historically central theoretical approaches to the study of cognition as a collaborative process that emerged in the early decades of the 20th century. The next section examines the conceptual frameworks of two more recent approaches to understanding the collaborative nature of cognition. These are a family of sociocultural approaches that, for about two decades, have been building on the classic theoretical work of the early decades of the century, especially the cultural/historical theory of Vygotsky and Leont'ev. The next section of the chapter discusses the differences in research and methodologies for the observation or evaluation of individuals' development from sociocultural and social influence approaches. The central section of the chapter addresses key concepts and research on cognition as a collaborative process, beginning with a brief overview of the nature and limitations of the available research. The section on experts' support of novices' learning begins with a discussion of how sociocultural approaches to this question differ from closely related work on scaffolding. The concluding section focuses on collaboration in sociocultural activities beyond the didactic and dyadic interactions between children and adults or peers that have provided most of the research to date. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
We have written this book with an eye and ear toward a variety of audiences, ranging from practitioners and professionals to researchers like ourselves. The vantage point from which we have approached the material is that of the experimental social psychologist who wants to formulate theory and research in ways that have practical applications. Students and professionals in other areas, however, will find the content of this book interesting and germane. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Establishes the property that if Vij = (c-j)2 (Vij denotes the disagreement weight in the weighted Kappa formula) and if the variables can be scaled 1 and 2, then irrespective of the marginal distributions, weighted Kappa is identical with the intraclass correlation coefficient in which the mean differences between the raters is included as a component of variability. A discussion of this property is presented along with an example. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study explored the growing capability of children, 9 to 18 months of age, to request a partner's participation in social games. Nineteen infants played a set of prescribed games for 30 min in a laboratory setting with an adult partner when they were 9, 12, 15, and 18 months of age. The children's nonverbal behavior and vocalizations during 15-s intervals in which the adult partner discontinued her involvement in the game (interruption periods) were compared with their behavior during game-playing periods. A reliable increase in communicative behavior was displayed during the interruption periods. Behavior during the interruption periods indicated that infants as young as 9 months understood elements of the content and structure of the games, were capable of engaging in object–person interaction, and were able to regulate the games by requesting that their partners continue to participate. The display of this knowledge and skill became more frequent and reliable with increasing age. The results are discussed with reference to the effect of adult scaffolding on infants' use of communication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
IntroductionA Brief History: Changing Questions About Infant PeersThe Development of Cooperative Coordinated Action Between PeersAchieving Joint Action on a Common ThemePeer Interactions in Day-care ContextsAre Peer Conflicts Episodes of Coordinated Action?Concluding Comments
Article
Plooij (Action, Gesture and Symbol, Academic Press 1978; Before Speech, C.U.P. 1979) described some intentionally-produced communicatory gestures used by one-year-old chimpanzees on the Gombe Stream Reserve. The current study investigated the use of this type of gesture at later developmental periods. Subjects were five infant and juvenile chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) living in a semi-natural group at the Yerkes Regional Primate Center Field Station. On the basis of naturalistic observations, three stages in the development of communicatory gestures were determined: (1) One-year-old infants used some gestures, but only in an immature form and only with their mothers or with peers; (2) Two-year-olds produced more gestures which were clearly intentional and conventional (they waited for a response), and they directed them to all group members; (3) Three-year-olds used a wider variety of gestures, and they supplemented them with a “gaze-alternation” behavior which indicated even more clearly the goal of the communication. Many of the gestures used by infants and juveniles were not used by adults, thus indicating a significance confined to specific developmental periods. This contradicts the commonly-held assumption (e.g. Van Lawick-Goodall, 1967) that the developmental process is one in which young chimpanzees come gradually to learn a pre-existing set of adult communicatory gestures. From this and other evidence, it is argued that, while some of the gestures are learned observationally, many are learned through a process of “direct convention-alization” between animals, and others rely on both of these processes.
Article
In this study we compared the nature of the joint attentional interactions that occurred as chimpanzees and human children engaged with a human experimenter (E). Subjects were three chimpanzees raised mostly with conspecifics (mother-reared), three chimpanzees raised in a human-like cultural environment (encultur-ated), and six 18-month-old human children. Of particular interest were possible differences between the two groups of chimpanzees that might have resulted from their different ontogenetic histories. Observations were made as subjects participated in an imitative learning task involving a number of novel objects. Variables coded were such things as subjects' looks to the object, looks to E, the coordination of such looks in periods of joint engagement with E, and gestural attempts to direct E's attention or behavior (declaratives and imperatives). Results showed that encultur-ated chimpanzees were most similar to human children in social interactions involv-ing objects, for example, in their attention to the object in compliance with E's request, their joint attentional interactions during less structured periods, and their use of declarative gestures to direct E's attention to objects. They were not similar to children, but rather resembled their mother-reared conspecifics, in the duration of their looks to E's face. A positive relation between subjects' joint attentional skills and their imitative learning skills was found for both chimpanzee and human sub-jects. It is concluded that a human-like sociocultural environment is an essential component in the development of human-like social-cognitive and joint attentional skills for chimpanzees, and perhaps for human beings as well
Article
This study examined developmental changes in the games played by mothers and infants during normal activities at home. Fourteen mothers and infants were observed when the infants were 6, 8, and 12 months of age; 80 minutes of data were collected at each age. With age, games became more frequent and infants became increasingly likely to initiate them. Games in which infants played a relatively passive role, frequent at 6 months, were replaced by 12 months with games in which infants played an active role, using newly acquired behaviors. In the games that were played at all ages—peekaboo, ball, and vocal—infant participation shifted from passive enjoyment at 6 months to active involvement at 12 months. Finally, rank correlations across age for games were moderately high. The results illustrate the sensitivity of mothers in adjusting their own behavior to keep pace with their infants' development. They also suggest that the structure of mother—infant games may serve both as an index of infants' social skills and as one context in which infants acquire these skills.
Article
In this paper I examine the role of joint attentional processes in the child's early lexical acquisition and conversational interaction. In both cases I conclude that relatively extended periods of adult-child joint attentional focus on nonlinguistic entities, perhaps as manifest in routines, scaffold the child's early language development. On the other hand, adult directiveness — whether of child behavior/attention or of the dyad's conversational topic — has a negative effect on early language development. For both lexical acquisition and conversational interaction some findings from experimental studies are available to supplement conclusions based on correlational evidence. Based on these findings, I propose a developmental sequence of joint attentional processes in early language development and discuss the role of adults in the child's passage through this sequence.
Article
The current study investigated the ontogenetic origins of children's skills of cooperative problem-solving in a task involving two complementary roles. Participants were peer dyads of 24, 30, 36, and 42 months of age. Primary dyads were initially presented with an instrumental problem whose solution required them to cooperate by coordinating two complementary actions. To further investigate their understanding of the task, these same dyads were then presented with the same problem but with roles reversed. Finally, after each of these primary participants had demonstrated proficiency in both roles, each was separately paired with a naive peer and given the opportunity to teach the naive partner the task. A clear ontogenetic trend emerged. Even with adult assistance, 24-month-old children never became independently proficient at the task. Thirty-and 36-month-old children became proficient mostly independently, but only relatively slowly and without demonstrating extensive amounts of behavioral coordination or the use of explicitly directive language to facilitate coordination. Although they did show evidence of recognizing when a peer was new to the task, children of this age engaged in little explicit teaching of naive peers. In contrast, 42-month-old children mastered the task much more quickly than the other children, responded much more quickly and accurately when their roles were reversed, coordinated both their actions and language in the task to a much greater extent, and engaged in more explicit teaching of naïve peers. Results are discussed in terms of the developing social cognitive skills that enable children from 2 to 4 years of age to understand other persons as mental agents with whom they may share mental perspectives.
Article
Primate Cognition What can we learn from ape behaviour experiments about consciousness? Are apes a model for humans - are they conscious at our level at all? Not finally answered here but a good overview.
Article
The nature of early games and how they might assist the infant in language acquisition were explored in a longitudinal study of two mother–infant dyads, using video-recordings of their free play. Analysis of appearance and disappearance games, in particular, revealed: (1) a restricted format, with a limited number of semantic elements, and a highly constrained set of semantic relations; (2) a clear repetitive structure, which allowed both for anticipation of the order of events and variation of the individual elements; (3) positions for appropriate vocalizations which could in turn be used to mark variations; and (4) the development of reversible role relationships between mother and child.
Article
Cooperation in peer interaction emerges during the second half of the second year. A consideration of the skills and knowledge entailed in these early forms of cooperation suggests that young children's emerging ability to differentiate self from other as causal agents may relate to their ability to coordinate behavior with age mates toward a common goal. Children at 12, 18, 24, and 30 months were observed in same-age, same-sex dyads (8 dyads per age) while attempting to solve a simple cooperation problem. They were also individually administered an elicited imitation task used to index decentration, or self-other differentiation. No 12-month-old dyad could cooperate, 18-month-olds did so infrequently and apparently accidentally, whereas 24- and 30-month-olds were able to coordinate behavior with one another quickly and effectively. Children who were better able to accommodate their behavior to one another during cooperation also represented the agency of others at a more advanced, decentered level.
Article
Hunting is often considered one of the major behaviors that shaped early hominids' evolution, along with the shift toward a drier and more open habitat. We suggest that a precise comparison of the hunting behavior of a species closely related to man might help us understand which aspects of hunting could be affected by environmental conditions. The hunting behavior of wild chimpanzees is discussed, and new observations on a population living in the tropical rain forest of the Taï National Park, Ivory Coast, are presented. Some of the forest chimpanzees' hunting performances are similar to those of savanna-woodlands populations; others are different. Forest chimpanzees have a more specialized prey image, intentionally search for more adult prey, and hunt in larger groups and with a more elaborate cooperative level than savanna-woodlands chimpanzees. In addition, forest chimpanzees tend to share meat more actively and more frequently. These findings are related to some theories on aspects of hunting behavior in early hominids and discussed in order to understand some factors influencing the hunting behavior of wild chimpanzees. Finally, the hunting behavior of primates is compared with that of social carnivores.
Article
14 peer dyads were observed longitudinally at 16, 20, 24, 28, and 32 months to assess developmental changes in social coordinations (both action-to-action thematic relations and extended games). Each child's movements through the playroom, actions upon play material, vocalizations, verbalizations, and gestures were coded for their relation to the concurrent or immediately prior behavior of the peer: Unrelated, Tangential, Coordinated, Interfering. There was a marked increase with age in acts coordinated with those of a peer, and imitations of the peer's nonverbal actions accounted for most of the developmental change. The use of words to direct the peer in a coordinated way increased with age but remained infrequent. Developmental change in the frequency of games paralleled that for imitative acts, and imitative acts both established and set the theme for most of the games. Thus, imitating another's nonverbal actions is a core behavioral strategy for achieving social coordinations during the developmental period preceding reliance on verbal communication in peer interaction.
Article
We used a cooperative pulling task to examine proximate aspects of cooperation in captive brown capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella. Specifically, our goal was to determine whether capuchins can learn the contingency between their partner's participation in a task and its successful completion. We examined whether the monkeys visually monitored their partners and adjusted pulling behaviour according to their partner's presence. Results on five same-sex pairs of adults indicate that (1) elimination of visual contact between partners significantly decreased success, (2) subjects glanced at their partners significantly more in cooperative tests than in control tests in which no partner-assistance was needed, and (3) they pulled at significantly higher rates when their partner was present rather than absent. Therefore, in contrast to a previous report by Chalmeau et al. (1997, Animal Behaviour, 54, 1215-1225), cooperating capuchins do seem able to take the role of their partner into account. However, the type of task used may be an important factor affecting the level of coordination achieved. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
Article
Altruistic food giving among genetically unrelated individuals is rare in nature. The few examples that exist suggest that when animals give food to unrelated others, they may do so on the basis of mutualistic or reciprocally altruistic relationships. We present the results of four experiments designed to tease apart the factors mediating food giving among genetically unrelated cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus), a cooperatively breeding New World primate. In experiment 1 we show that individuals give significantly more food to a trained conspecific who unilaterally gives food than to a conspecific who unilaterally never gives food. The apparent contingency of the tamarins' food-giving behaviour motivated the design of experiments 2-4. Results from all three experiments show that altruistic food giving is mediated by prior acts of altruistic food giving by a conspecific. Specifically, tamarins do not give food to unrelated others when the food received in the past represents the by-product of another's selfish actions (experiments 2 and 3) or when a human experimenter gives them food (experiment 4) as did the unilateral altruist in experiment 1. By contrast, if one tamarin gives another food without obtaining any immediate benefit, then the recipient is more likely to give food in return. Overall, results show that tamarins altruistically give food to genetically unrelated conspecifics, discriminate between altruistic and selfish actions, and give more food to those who give food back. Tamarins therefore have the psychological capacity for reciprocally mediated altruism.
Article
This study explored whether the tendency of chimpanzees and children to use emulation or imitation to solve a tool-using task was a response to the availability of causal information. Young wild-born chimpanzees from an African sanctuary and 3- to 4-year-old children observed a human demonstrator use a tool to retrieve a reward from a puzzle-box. The demonstration involved both causally relevant and irrelevant actions, and the box was presented in each of two conditions: opaque and clear. In the opaque condition, causal information about the effect of the tool inside the box was not available, and hence it was impossible to differentiate between the relevant and irrelevant parts of the demonstration. However, in the clear condition causal information was available, and subjects could potentially determine which actions were necessary. When chimpanzees were presented with the opaque box, they reproduced both the relevant and irrelevant actions, thus imitating the overall structure of the task. When the box was presented in the clear condition they instead ignored the irrelevant actions in favour of a more efficient, emulative technique. These results suggest that emulation is the favoured strategy of chimpanzees when sufficient causal information is available. However, if such information is not available, chimpanzees are prone to employ a more comprehensive copy of an observed action. In contrast to the chimpanzees, children employed imitation to solve the task in both conditions, at the expense of efficiency. We suggest that the difference in performance of chimpanzees and children may be due to a greater susceptibility of children to cultural conventions, perhaps combined with a differential focus on the results, actions and goals of the demonstrator.
Article
In the context of an imitation game, 12- and 18-month-old infants saw an adult do such things as make a toy mouse hop across a mat (with sound effects). In one condition (House), the adult ended by placing the mouse in a toy house, whereas in another condition (No House) there was no house present at the final location. Infants at both ages usually simply put the mouse in the house (ignoring the hopping motion and sound effects) in the House condition, presumably because they interpreted the adult's action in terms of this final goal and so ignored the behavioral means. In contrast, infants copied the adult's action (both the hopping motion and the sound effects) when no house was present, presumably because here infants saw the action itself as the adult's only goal. From very early, infants' social learning is flexible: infants focus on and copy either the end or the means of an adult action as required by the context.