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3chimps - Hominoid Psychology Research Group

We compare the psychology of hominoids (human and non-human apes).
Specifically, we seek to identify which features our social problem-solving abilities have evolved since humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor. In addition, we compare the psychology of apes and non-primates to identify cases of psychological convergence. Critically, such cases of convergence may provide a unique opportunity to infer how human-like social skills evolved. We conduct our research in African sanctuaries and the Wolfgang Koehler Primate Research Center.

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bonobos and chimpanzees
Bonobos at sanctuary in Kinshasa, DR Congo
Chimpanzees playing at Tchimpounga chimpanzee sanctuary (Pointe Noire, Congo)
  Areas we are currently investigating include:  
  • the effect of domestication on social skills
  • deception, communicative intent, and theory of mind
  • economic decision-making, cooperation, and discounting
  • individual differences in physical and social tasks
  • the development of temperament and social skills
  “Our research group is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and is hosted by the psychology department of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology”  
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology