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Public information use in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens).

Vale, G.L. and Flynn, E.G. and Lambeth, S.P. and Schapiro, S.J. and Kendal, R.L. (2014) 'Public information use in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens).', Journal of comparative psychology., 128 (2). pp. 215-223.


The discernment of resource quality is pertinent to many daily decisions faced by animals. Public information is a critical information source that promotes quality assessments, attained by monitoring others’ performance. Here we provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) use public information to guide resource selection. Thirty-two chimpanzees were presented with two simultaneous video demonstrations depicting a conspecific acquiring resources at a fast (resource-rich) or slow (resource-poor) rate. Subsequently, subjects selected the resource-rich site above chance expectation. As a comparison, we report evidence of public information use in young children. Investigation of public information use in primates is pertinent as it can enhance foraging success and potentially facilitate payoff biased social learning.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Public information, Social cognition, Social information, Social learning, Chimpanzees, Children.
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Publisher statement:© 2014 APA, all rights reserved. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:13 October 2014
Date of first online publication:31 May 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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