Advertisement

Animal Cognition

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 627–636 | Cite as

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) transfer tokens repeatedly with a partner to accumulate rewards in a self-control task

  • Audrey E. Parrish
  • Bonnie M. Perdue
  • Theodore A. Evans
  • Michael J. Beran
Original Paper

Abstract

There has been extensive research investigating self-control in humans and nonhuman animals, yet we know surprisingly little about how one’s social environment influences self-control. The present study examined the self-control of chimpanzees in a task that required active engagement with conspecifics. The task consisted of transferring a token back and forth with a partner animal in order to accumulate food rewards, one item per token transfer. Self-control was required because at any point in the trial, either chimpanzee could obtain their accumulated rewards, but doing so discontinued the food accumulation and ended the trial for both individuals. Chimpanzees readily engaged the task and accumulated the majority of available rewards before ending each trial, and they did so across a number of conditions that varied the identity of the partner, the presence/absence of the experimenter, and the means by which they could obtain rewards. A second experiment examined chimpanzees’ self-control when given the choice between immediately available food items and a potentially larger amount of rewards that could be obtained by engaging the token transfer task with a partner. Chimpanzees were flexible in their decision-making in this test, typically choosing the option representing the largest amount of food, even if it involved delayed accumulation of the rewards via the token transfer task. These results demonstrate that chimpanzees can exhibit self-control in situations involving social interactions, and they encourage further research into this important aspect of the self-control scenario.

Keywords

Self-control Chimpanzees Token transfer Delay of gratification Accumulation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Development (grant HD-060563). Audrey Parrish was supported, in part, by the 2CI University Doctoral Fellowship from Georgia State University, and Bonnie Perdue was supported, in part, by the Duane M. Rumbaugh Fellowship from Georgia State University. The authors thank the animal care and enrichment team at the Language Research Center.

References

  1. Anderson JR, Kuroshima H, Fujita K (2010) Delay of gratification in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). J Comp Psychol 124:205–210. doi: 10.1037/a0018240 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck BB (1973) Cooperative tool use by captive hamadryas baboons. Science 182:594. doi: 10.1126/science.182.4112.594 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beran MJ (2001) Summation and numerousness judgments of sequentially presented sets of items by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). J Comp Psychol 115:181–191. doi: 10.1037/0735-7036.115.2.181 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beran MJ (2002) Maintenance of self-imposed delay of gratification by four chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and an orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). J Gen Psychol 129:49–66. doi: 10.1080/00221300209602032 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beran MJ (2004) Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) respond to nonvisible sets after one-by-one addition and removal of items. J Comp Psychol 118:25–36. doi: 10.1037/0735-7036.118.1.25 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beran MJ, Evans TA (2006) Maintenance of delay of gratification by four chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): the effects of delayed reward visibility, experimenter presence, and extended delay intervals. Behav Process 73:315–324. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2006.07.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Beran MJ, Evans TA (2009) Delay of gratification by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in working and waiting situations. Behav Process 80:177–181. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2008.11.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beran MJ, Evans TA (2012) Language-trained chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) delay gratification by choosing token exchange over immediate reward consumption. Am J Primatol 74:864–870. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22042 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beran MJ, Pate JL, Rumbaugh DM (1999) Delay of gratification in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Dev Psychobiol 34:119–127. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2302(199903)34:2<119:AID-DEV5>3.0.CO;2-P PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Beran MJ, Evans TA, Hoyle D (2011) Numerical judgments by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in a token economy. J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 37:165–174. doi: 10.1037/a0021472 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boysen ST, Bernston GG (1995) Responses to quantity: perceptual versus cognitive mechanisms in chimpanzees. J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 21:82–86. doi: 10.1037/0097-7403.21.1.82 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bramlett J, Perdue B, Evans T, Beran M (2012) Capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) let lesser rewards pass them by to get better rewards. Anim Cogn 15:963–969. doi: 10.1007/s10071-012-0522-x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brosnan SF, Beran MJ (2009) Trading behavior between conspecifics in chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes. J Comp Psychol 123:181–194. doi: 10.1037/a0015092 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brosnan SF, de Waal FBM (2004) A concept of value during experimental exchange in brown capuchin monkeys. Folia Primatol 75:317–330. doi: 10.1159/000080209 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brosnan SF, de Waal FBM (2005) Responses to a simple barter task in chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes. Primates 46:173–182. doi: 10.1007/s10329-005-0125-0 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chalmeau R, Peignot P (1998) Exchange of objects between humans and captive western lowland gorillas. Primates 39:389–398. doi: 10.1007/BF02557563 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chen MK, Lakshminarayanan V, Santos LR (2006) How basic are behavioral biases? Evidence from capuchin monkey trading behavior. J Polit Econ 114:517–537. doi: 10.1086/503550 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dufour V, Pelé M, Sterck EHM, Thierry B (2007) Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) anticipation of food return: coping with waiting time in an exchange task. J Comp Psychol 121:145–155. doi: 10.1037/0735-7036.121.2.145 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Evans TA, Beran MJ (2007) Chimpanzees use self-distraction to cope with impulsivity. Biol Lett 3:599–602. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0399 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Evans TA, Westergaard GC (2006) Self-control and tool-use in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). J Comp Psychol 120:163–166. doi: 10.1037/0735-7036.120.2.163 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Evans TA, Beran MJ, Addessi E (2010) Can nonhuman primates use tokens to represent and sum quantities? J Comp Psychol 129:369–380. doi: 10.1037/a0019855 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Evans TA, Perdue BM, Parrish AE, Menzel EC, Brosnan SF, Beran MJ (2012) How is chimpanzee self-control influenced by social setting? Scientifica. (article 9). doi: 10.6064/2012/654094
  23. Karoly P (1993) Mechanisms of self-regulation: a systems view. Ann Rev Psychol 44:23–52. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.44.1.23 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lefebvre L (1982) Food exchange strategies in an infant chimpanzee. J Hum Evol 11:195–204. doi: 10.1016/S0047-2484(82)80036-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lefebvre L, Hewitt TA (1986) Food exchange in captive chimpanzees. In: Taub DM, King FA (eds) Current perspectives in primate social dynamics. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY, pp 476–486Google Scholar
  26. Logue AW (1988) Research on self-control: an integrating framework. Behav Brain Sci 11:665–709. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X00053978 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Logue AW, Forzano LB, Ackerman KT (1996) Self-control in children: age, preference for reinforcer amount and delay, and language ability. Learn Motiv 27:260–277. doi: 10.1006/lmot.1996.0014 Google Scholar
  28. Miller DT, Karniol R (1976) Coping strategies and attentional mechanisms in self-imposed and externally imposed delay situations. J Pers Soc Psychol 34:310–316. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.34.2.310 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mischel W (1974) Processes in delay of gratification. Adv Exp Soc Psychol 7:249–292. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60039-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mischel W (1981) Objective and subjective rules for delay of gratification. In: Lens W, d’ Ydewalle G (eds) Cognition in human motivation and learning. Psychology Press, New York, NY, pp 33–58Google Scholar
  31. Mischel W, Ebbesen EB, Zeiss AR (1972) Cognitive and attentional mechanisms in delay of gratification. J Pers Soc Psychol 21:204–218. doi: 10.1037/h0032198 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mischel W, Shoda Y, Peake PK (1988) The nature of adolescent competencies predicted by preschool delay of gratification. J Pers Soc Psychol 54:678–696. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.54.4.687 Google Scholar
  33. Mischel W, Shoda Y, Rodriguez ML (1989) Delay of gratification in children. Science 244:933–938. doi: 10.1126/science.2658056 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moffitt TE, Arseneault L, Belsky D, Dickson N, Hancox RJ, Harrington H, Houts R, Poulton R, Roberts BW, Ross S, Sears MR, Thomson WM, Caspi A (2011) A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety. Proc Natl Acad Sci 108:2693–2698. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1010076108 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rachlin H (2000) The science of self-control. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  36. Rumbaugh DM, Washburn DA (2003) Intelligence of apes and other rational beings. Yale University Press, New Haven, CTGoogle Scholar
  37. Savage-Rumbaugh ES, Rumbaugh DM, Boysen S (1978a) Linguistically mediated tool use and exchange by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Behav Brain Sci 1:539–554. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X00076536 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Savage-Rumbaugh ES, Rumbaugh DM, Boysen S (1978b) Symbolic communication between two chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Science 201:641–644. doi: 10.1126/science.675251 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stevens JR, Hallinan EV, Hauser MD (2005) The ecology and evolution of patience in two New World monkeys. Biol Lett 1:223–226. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2004.0285 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tangney JP, Baumeister RF, Boone AL (2004) High self-control predicts good adjustment, less pathology, better grades, and interpersonal success. J Pers 72:271–324. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00263.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tobin H, Logue AW, Chelonis JJ, Ackerman KT, May JGI (1996) Self-control in the monkey Macaca fascicularis. Anim Learn Behav 24:168–174. doi: 10.3758/BF03198964 Google Scholar
  42. Toner IJ, Smith RA (1977) Age and overt verbalization in delay-maintenance behavior in children. J Exp Child Psychol 24:123–128. doi: 10.1016/0022-0965(77)90025-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Vick SJ, Bovet D, Anderson J (2010) How do African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) perform on a delay of gratification task? Anim Cogn 13:351–358. doi: 10.1007/s10071-009-0284-2 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Westergaard GC, Suomi SJ (1997) Transfer of tools and food between groups of tufted capuchin (Cebus apella). Am J Primatol 43:33–41. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2345(1997)43:1<33:AID-AJP2>3.0.CO;2-Z PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. White JL, Moffitt TE, Caspi A, Bartusch DJ (1994) Measuring impulsivity and examining its relationship to delinquency. J Abnorm Psychol 103:192–205. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.103.2.192 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Audrey E. Parrish
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bonnie M. Perdue
    • 1
  • Theodore A. Evans
    • 1
  • Michael J. Beran
    • 1
  1. 1.Language Research CenterGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations