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PLOS—Great apes help a person access an object when that person thinks they knows where it is but is mistaken, according to a study* published April 5, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by David Buttelmann from Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, and colleagues.
Understanding when someone else has a false belief is a mark of advanced social cognition in people, and researchers had believed that great apes lacked this capacity. Using a test that was developed for 1.5-year-old human infants, Buttelmann and colleagues evaluated understanding of others' beliefs in 34 great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans) at the Leipzig Zoo in Germany.
Test - Person - Object - Boxes - Person
The test involved a person placing an object in one of two boxes. Another person then took this object out of this box, put it into another box, and locked both boxes. For the true belief condition, the first person stayed in the room—so this person knew where the object was and thus had a true belief. For the false belief condition, however, the...
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