All’s fair between chimps? Psychologist Darby Proctor of Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Lawrenceville, Ga., and her colleagues say chimpanzees tend to react in a way that recognizes fairness. “Humans and chimpanzees show similar preferences in dividing rewards, suggesting a long evolutionary history to the human sense of fairness,” Proctor said.
However, other researchers claim that the chimps in the study “interacted little with each other and showed no signs of understanding that some offers were unfair and could be rejected.”
Josep Call and Keith Jensen co-authored previous studies where chimps “generally shared as little as possible with partners, who accepted most offers.”
Does Proctor’s new study, which compares the actions of her chimps with those of pre-school aged kids, prove that fairness can transcend species lines? Do humans even play fair anyway?