Animal Cognition

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1069–1076 | Cite as

Chimpanzees strategically manipulate what others can see

  • Katja Karg
  • Martin Schmelz
  • Josep Call
  • Michael Tomasello
Original Paper

Abstract

Humans often strategically manipulate the informational access of others to their own advantage. Although chimpanzees know what others can and cannot see, it is unclear whether they can strategically manipulate others’ visual access. In this study, chimpanzees were given the opportunity to save food for themselves by concealing it from a human competitor and also to get more food for themselves by revealing it to a human cooperator. When knowing that a competitor was approaching, chimpanzees kept more food hidden (left it covered) than when expecting a cooperator to approach. When the experimenter was already at the location of the hidden food, they actively revealed less food to the competitor than to the cooperator. They did not actively hide food (cover up food in the open) from the competitor, however. Chimpanzees thus strategically manipulated what another could see in order to maximize their payoffs and showed their ability to plan for future situations.

Keywords

Deception Hiding Perspective taking Future planning Chimpanzee 

Supplementary material

10071_2015_875_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (78 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 77 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katja Karg
    • 1
  • Martin Schmelz
    • 1
  • Josep Call
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael Tomasello
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Comparative PsychologyMax Planck Institute for Evolutionary AnthropologyLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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