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Observer Article

The Social Powers of Primates

Frans B.M. de Waal has news for people who think that the tendency to establish cultural norms separates humans from other animals: By teaching a high-ranking female chimpanzee how to solve a complicated puzzle and then watching copycat behavior spread among her group, de Waal and his colleagues documented evidence of both complex social learning and conformity in nonhumans. ... More>


How Did Humans Learn to Count? Baboons May Offer Clues

Learning to count comes early in human life and new research suggests that the cognitive underpinnings of this ability can be found in some of our close cousins: baboons. ... More>


Understanding the Origin of Psychopathic Tendencies Through Chimpanzees

A team led by Georgia State University researchers turned to chimpanzees to better understand the features of psychopathy, a personality disorder typically investigated among human clinical and forensic populations. ... More>


Conformity Starts Young


Toddlers Copy Their Peers to Fit In, but Apes Don’t

From the playground to the board room, people often follow others' behavior to fit in. Children show behavioral conformity early, but apes seem to stick with what they know. ... More>