Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Humans are not alone in computing how others see the world

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

DOI

Abstract

It is 35 years since Premack & Woodruff famously asked, 'Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?' (1978, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1, 515-526). The first wave of experiments designed to tackle this provocative question in the context of cooperative transactions with humans offered largely negative answers. It was not until a landmark Animal Behaviour paper by Hare etal. (2000, Animal Behaviour, 59, 771-786) that a different approach based around foraging competition between conspecifics delivered an affirmative (if limited) verdict that, at least, 'Chimpanzees know what conspecifics do and do not see'. This influential paper laid the foundations for a much more productive decade of studies that provided evidence for apes' recognition in others of states corresponding to knowing, intending and inferring. It further stimulated related studies in other mammalian and avian species too. Here I set the Hare etal. paper in its historical, scientific context, provide an overview of the variety of studies that have followed in its wake and address some core questions about the scientific tractability of identifying phenomena in nonverbal creatures that may be akin to human 'theory of mind'.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume86
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2013

    Research areas

  • mindreading , theory of mind, chimpanzees

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. The interaction of social and perceivable causal factors in shaping ‘over-imitation’

    Burdett, E. R. R., McGuigan, N., Harrison, R. & Whiten, A. 24 Feb 2018 In : Cognitive Development. 47, p. 8-18 11 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  2. The pervasive role of social learning in primate lifetime development

    Whiten, A. & van de Waal, E. May 2018 In : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 72, 16 p., 80

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview article

  3. Chimpanzees prioritise social information over pre-existing behaviours in a group context but not in dyads

    Watson, S., Lambeth, S. P., Schapiro, S. J. & Whiten, A. 24 Mar 2018 In : Animal Cognition. First Online, 12 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) display limited behavioural flexibility when faced with a changing foraging task requiring tool use

    Harrison, R. A. & Whiten, A. 19 Feb 2018 In : PeerJ. 6, 28 p., e4366

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Related by journal

  1. Presence of an audience and consistent interindividual differences affect archerfish shooting behaviour

    Jones, N. A. R., Webster, M., Templeton, C. N., Schuster, S. & Rendell, L. 15 Jun 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 141, p. 95-103 9 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Heterospecific shoaling in an invasive poeciliid: shared history does not affect shoal cohesion

    Ali, J. R., Deacon, A. E., Mahabir, K., Ramnarine, I. W. & Magurran, A. E. Apr 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 138, p. 1-8 8 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  3. Memory in wild mountain chickadees from different elevations: comparing first year birds with older survivors

    Tello Ramos, M. C., Pitera, C. L., Pitera, A. M., Kozlovsky, D. Y., Bridge, E. S. & Pravosudov, V. V. Mar 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 137, p. 149-160 11 p., 6

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Wild hummingbirds require a consistent view of landmarks to pinpoint a goal location

    Pritchard, D. J., Hurly, T. A. & Healy, S. D. Mar 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 137, p. 83-94 12 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  5. Field experiments with wild primates reveal no consistent dominance-based bias in social learning

    Botting, J., Whiten, A., Grampp, M. & van de Waal, E. Feb 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 136, p. 1-12 12 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Related by journal

  1. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Webster, M. M. (Editor)
    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  2. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Healy, S. D. (Editor)
    1 Jun 201631 May 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  3. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Alfredo Fernandez Ojanguren (Member of editorial board)
    15 May 201312 Feb 2015

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Thomas Bugnyar (Editor)
    20082011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  5. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Rachel Louise Kendal (Editor)
    2007 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

ID: 68861594