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Chimpanzees are not found altruism

If their personal interest does not affect, the chimp becomes still whether to help his neighbor or harm.

About the selfless act we say when a person acts for the benefit of another, not paying attention to whether it is beneficial to him or not.


(Photo of nik . / Flickr.com.)

Hardly anybody doubts that people tend altruism, although it definitely could be bigger. However, biologists, whatever they found in the behavior, the question always arises – when this behavior occurred? The same is true in the case of altruism: whether it was our ancestors-primates, or not? If Yes, then you can talk about evolutionarily shaped predispositions of the brain to such behavior.

Of our immediate family, we can now explore is that of monkeys. Altruism may occur in them, for example, that someone will share their food – just like that. On the one hand, and in the wild, and zoos and nurseries are often seen as members of one group of primates share food.

On the other hand, in 2013 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B published an article that said that the monkey – like humanoid, and normal – altruists cannot be called that when they share food, they really expect in return a reciprocal gesture; so it is not so much altruism, how much a system of mutual services. However, the work was not dedicated to new experiments and observations, and meta-analysis of other studies – in other words, the authors compared other people’s observations on the subject of monkey altruism and came to the conclusion that they don’t have it.

But in an article published in Nature Communications, we are talking about the experiments. Researchers from the University of Birmingham experimented with chimpanzees of Uganda reserve: monkeys were divided into three groups, and then they showed another chimpanzee who was sitting in the room where there was a box of brownies. The box is shake the nuts out of it fell out, but she had a special device that she was locked up and not allowed the nuts to fall out.

The other monkeys, i.e. experimental, seen and heard, making their neighbor, but the meal could not get. And finally, most importantly – in the cage of those who looked at the chimpanzee with nuts, was the lever with which to open or close the box with nuts in a cage from a neighbor. In one case, a lever acted as opener in the other – on the contrary, there are monkeys saw their neighbor gets nuts, and was able to stop it, sealing his box.

Those chimpanzees who could open the box, first opened it willingly, but their zeal quickly waned after they realized that they themselves no treats does not Shine (recall that to transfer the nuts from the cage in the cage it was impossible). But while in the other group, in which monkeys are not opened and closed a box, they did so with the same probability as their counterparts-the”openers”. In other words, chimpanzees are equally helped and hurt whoever was sitting nearby.

In the next experiment to chimpanzees tried to convey the sense of their actions: monkeys, moving the lever could go in the cage with nuts. Test subjects quickly realized what was happening: those who were in the group of “discoverers”, almost 100% pressed the lever before you go to the next cell, and those that were in group “zakryvateli”, now the lever did not touch – they realized that if you click on it, then you get nothing. But then when I repeated the initial conditions – the “master lever looks at how another eats or doesn’t eat nuts”, then everything was as before: the understanding that through your actions someone gets a treat, did not do monkeys any more altruistic or more harmful.

The conclusion that the social life of our ancestors – at least those that were shared with chimpanzees began not with a predisposition towards altruism, and awareness of their own benefit when interacting with other individuals. As for the other evidence pointing to the existence of altruism in monkeys, the authors tend to put their artifacts that occur as a by-product when performing certain experiments or observations.

It is appropriate to recall that almost two years ago, we wrote about the work of psychologists from Stanford, who after watching children 1-2 years old, came to the conclusion that people are not born altruistic, and that readiness to help another, is likely to develop not genes, and as our communication with others.

Will also add that if we are talking about altruism as a conscious choice and appreciate his intentions, not results, it would be strange to call any programmed altruistic behavior, no matter how selfless and good to others it may be.

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