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Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

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1. Warneken & Tomasello (2006) Science

Warneken, F. & Tomasello, M. (2006). Altruistic helping in human infants and young chimpanzees. Science, 311, 1301-1303.

1.1 Children Study

a. Clothespin Task

The adult accidentally drops a marker on the floor and unsuccessfully reaches for it.
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b. Cabinet Task

The adult wants to put magazines into a cabinet, but the doors are closed so that he bumps into it.
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c. Books Task

A book slips from a stack as the adult attempts to place it on top of the stack.
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d. Flap Task

A spoon drops through a hole and the adult unsuccessfully tries to grasp it through the small hole, ignorant of a flap on the side of the box.
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1.2 Chimpanzee Study

a. Lid Task (Alexandra)

The experimenter accidentally drops a lid on the floor and reaches for it.
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b. Sponge Task (Alexandra)

The experimenter uses a sponge to clean the table, but accidentally drops it on the floor and unsuccessfully reaches for it.
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c. Mould Task (Alexandra)

The experimenter is collecting objects, but some of them are out of her reach.
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d. Lid Task (Annet)

The experimenter accidentally drops a lid on the floor and reaches for it.
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2. Warneken, Chen, & Tomasello (2006) Child Development

Warneken, F., Chen, F., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Cooperative activities in young children and chimpanzees. Child Development , 77 (3), 640 – 663.

The videoclips show examples of the cooperation tasks used with 18- and 24-month old children and human-raised chimpanzees. The rationale of these tasks was that they could not be performed successfully by one person acting alone. As denoted below, some clips show trials with interruption periods, during which the partner stopped his participation for 15 seconds in order to assess whether the subjects would request his cooperation.

2.1 Children

a. Tube with handles task (with interruption)

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b. Elevator task (under construction)
c. Double tube task (with interruption)

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d. Trampoline task

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2.2 CHIMPANZEES

a. Alexandra: Trapdoor task

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b. Annet: Trapdoor task (with interruption)

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3. Warneken, Hare, Melis, Hanus, & Tomasello (2007) PLoS Biology

Warneken, F., Hare, B., Melis, A.P., Hanus, D., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Spontaneous altruism by chimpanzees and young children. PLoS Biology, 5 (7), 1414 – 1420.

These videoclips show examples from three experiments with 18-month-old children and semi-free ranging chimpanzees. We found that both chimpanzees and human children helped altruistically, regardless of any expectation of reward (Experiment 1). They continued to help even when helping was made more effortful in that chimpanzees had to climb up into a raceway and children had to surmount an array of obstacles in order to help (Experiment 2). In the last experiment, chimpanzees helped other conspecifics: When one individual was unsuccessfully trying to open a door which was blocked by a chain, the other individual helped by releasing the chain.

3.1. Experiment 1.

Chimpanzee in condition Reaching/No Reward
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3.2. Experiment 1.

Child in condition Reaching/No Reward
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3.3. Experiment 2.

Chimpanzee in condition No Reaching.
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3.4. Experiment 2.

Child in condition Reaching.
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3.5. Experiment 3.

Chimpanzee helps in experimental condition.
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