Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Chimpanzee 'folk physics': bringing failures into focus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Standard

Chimpanzee 'folk physics' : bringing failures into focus. / Seed, Amanda Madeleine; Seddon, Eleanor ; Greene, Blathnaid; Call, Josep.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 367, No. 1603, 05.10.2012, p. 2743-2752.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Seed, AM, Seddon, E, Greene, B & Call, J 2012, 'Chimpanzee 'folk physics': bringing failures into focus', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, vol. 367, no. 1603, pp. 2743-2752. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2012.0222

APA

Seed, A. M., Seddon, E., Greene, B., & Call, J. (2012). Chimpanzee 'folk physics': bringing failures into focus. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, 367(1603), 2743-2752. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2012.0222

Vancouver

Seed AM, Seddon E, Greene B, Call J. Chimpanzee 'folk physics': bringing failures into focus. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 2012 Oct 5;367(1603):2743-2752. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2012.0222

Author

Seed, Amanda Madeleine ; Seddon, Eleanor ; Greene, Blathnaid ; Call, Josep. / Chimpanzee 'folk physics' : bringing failures into focus. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 2012 ; Vol. 367, No. 1603. pp. 2743-2752.

Bibtex - Download

@article{9ee91bfb4fcd4f3f8d832eae4a034632,
title = "Chimpanzee 'folk physics': bringing failures into focus",
abstract = "Differences between individuals are the raw material from which theories of the evolution and ontogeny of cognition are built. For example, when 4-year-old children pass a test requiring them to communicate the content of another's falsely held belief, while 3-year-olds fail, we know that something must change over the course of the third year of life. In the search for what develops or evolves, the typical route is to probe the extents and limits of successful individuals' ability. Another is to focus on those that failed, and find out what difference or lack prevented them from passing the task. Recent research in developmental psychology has harnessed individual differences to illuminate the cognitive mechanisms that emerge to enable success. We apply this approach to explaining some of the failures made by chimpanzees when using tools to solve problems. Twelve of 16 chimpanzees failed to discriminate between a complete and a broken tool when, after being set down, the ends of the broken one were aligned in front of them. There was a correlation between performance on this aligned task and another in which after being set down, the centre of both tools was covered, suggesting that the limiting factor was not the representation of connection, but memory or attention. Some chimpanzees that passed the aligned task passed a task in which the location of the broken tool was never visible but had to be inferred.",
keywords = "chimpanzees, tool-use, representation, executive function, FALSE-BELIEF, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, STRATEGIC DECEPTION, INHIBITORY CONTROL, WORKING-MEMORY, GREAT APES, MIND, TASK, CHILDRENS, EVENTS",
author = "Seed, {Amanda Madeleine} and Eleanor Seddon and Blathnaid Greene and Josep Call",
year = "2012",
month = "10",
day = "5",
doi = "10.1098/rstb.2012.0222",
language = "English",
volume = "367",
pages = "2743--2752",
journal = "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8436",
publisher = "ROYAL SOC",
number = "1603",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Chimpanzee 'folk physics'

T2 - bringing failures into focus

AU - Seed, Amanda Madeleine

AU - Seddon, Eleanor

AU - Greene, Blathnaid

AU - Call, Josep

PY - 2012/10/5

Y1 - 2012/10/5

N2 - Differences between individuals are the raw material from which theories of the evolution and ontogeny of cognition are built. For example, when 4-year-old children pass a test requiring them to communicate the content of another's falsely held belief, while 3-year-olds fail, we know that something must change over the course of the third year of life. In the search for what develops or evolves, the typical route is to probe the extents and limits of successful individuals' ability. Another is to focus on those that failed, and find out what difference or lack prevented them from passing the task. Recent research in developmental psychology has harnessed individual differences to illuminate the cognitive mechanisms that emerge to enable success. We apply this approach to explaining some of the failures made by chimpanzees when using tools to solve problems. Twelve of 16 chimpanzees failed to discriminate between a complete and a broken tool when, after being set down, the ends of the broken one were aligned in front of them. There was a correlation between performance on this aligned task and another in which after being set down, the centre of both tools was covered, suggesting that the limiting factor was not the representation of connection, but memory or attention. Some chimpanzees that passed the aligned task passed a task in which the location of the broken tool was never visible but had to be inferred.

AB - Differences between individuals are the raw material from which theories of the evolution and ontogeny of cognition are built. For example, when 4-year-old children pass a test requiring them to communicate the content of another's falsely held belief, while 3-year-olds fail, we know that something must change over the course of the third year of life. In the search for what develops or evolves, the typical route is to probe the extents and limits of successful individuals' ability. Another is to focus on those that failed, and find out what difference or lack prevented them from passing the task. Recent research in developmental psychology has harnessed individual differences to illuminate the cognitive mechanisms that emerge to enable success. We apply this approach to explaining some of the failures made by chimpanzees when using tools to solve problems. Twelve of 16 chimpanzees failed to discriminate between a complete and a broken tool when, after being set down, the ends of the broken one were aligned in front of them. There was a correlation between performance on this aligned task and another in which after being set down, the centre of both tools was covered, suggesting that the limiting factor was not the representation of connection, but memory or attention. Some chimpanzees that passed the aligned task passed a task in which the location of the broken tool was never visible but had to be inferred.

KW - chimpanzees

KW - tool-use

KW - representation

KW - executive function

KW - FALSE-BELIEF

KW - INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES

KW - STRATEGIC DECEPTION

KW - INHIBITORY CONTROL

KW - WORKING-MEMORY

KW - GREAT APES

KW - MIND

KW - TASK

KW - CHILDRENS

KW - EVENTS

U2 - 10.1098/rstb.2012.0222

DO - 10.1098/rstb.2012.0222

M3 - Article

VL - 367

SP - 2743

EP - 2752

JO - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences

JF - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences

SN - 0962-8436

IS - 1603

ER -

Related by author

  1. Comparing humans and nonhuman great apes in the broken cloth problem: is their knowledge causal or perceptual?

    Albiach-Serrano, A., Sebastián-Enesco, C., Seed, A., Colmenares, F. & Call, J., Nov 2015, In : Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 139, p. 174-189 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Abstract knowledge in the broken-string problem: evidence from nonhuman primates and pre-schoolers

    Mayer, C. P., Call, J., Albiach-Serrano, A., Visalberghi, E., Sabbatini, G. & Seed, A. M., 1 Oct 2014, In : PLoS One. 9, 10, 7 p., e108597.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Space or physics? Children use physical reasoning to solve the trap problem from 2.5 years of age

    Seed, A. M. & Call, J., Jul 2014, In : Developmental Psychology. 50, 7, p. 1951-1962 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Christian Rutz (Editor)
    20122013

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Member of editorial board)
    20092014

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Tanja van Mourik (Member of editorial board)
    2009

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Andrew Whiten (Member of editorial board)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Tool Use as Adaptation

    Biro, D. (ed.), Haslam, M. (ed.) & Rutz, C. (ed.), 2013, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, 368, 1630.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationSpecial issue

Related by journal

  1. Causes and consequences of female centrality in cetacean societies

    Rendell, L. E., Cantor, M., Gero, S., Whitehead, H. & Mann, J., Sep 2019, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 374, 1780, 13 p., 20180066.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Parasitic cuckoo catfish exploit parental responses to lost offspring

    Polačik, M., Reichard, M., Smith, C. & Blažek, R., Apr 2019, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. Forthcoming

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Linking personality and cognition: a meta-analysis

    Dougherty, L. R. & Guillette, L. M., 26 Sep 2018, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 373, 1756, 12 p., 20170282.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Stress hormones, social associations and song learning in zebra finches

    Boogert, N. J., Lachlan, R. F., Spencer, K. A., Templeton, C. N. & Farine, D. R., 26 Sep 2018, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 373, 1756, 9 p., 20170290.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 22167635

Top