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Fair play? How awesome!


Chimpanzees also master the principle of fair play. Researchers at a research center in the US have now found this out, the BBC reports. Accordingly, fair sharing, as we humans do, could be much more deeply rooted in our past than previously thought. Chimpanzees master the fair play principle - Image: Shutterstock / beer

The so-called ultimatum game was at the center of the study. While people in this game test how they divide a certain amount of money between themselves, the chimpanzees were offered two different-colored tokens instead of money with different meanings: if the chimpanzee chose one, he and his mate got the same number of bananas. If, on the other hand, the choice fell on the other, there were more bananas for the decision maker than for the competition.

In this experiment it turned out that fair sharing between two parties is also firmly rooted in the behavior of monkeys. Three pairs of chimpanzees played the modified ultimatum game and showed that the trend was definitely towards fair play. As the lead researcher Dr. Darby Proctor said the goal of the experiment is to find out why we share people. The results suggest that the principle of fair play was on the agenda at a very early stage in evolution. "It seems that the sense of justice has been anchored in primates since the separation of chimpanzees and humans," explains the researcher.

The results of the fair play study are not considered representative since only six monkeys took part in it; but the clear tendency towards fair sharing is definitely an interesting aspect, as does research colleague Dr. Susanne Schultz from Manchester University confirmed.

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