Studies linking humans to chimpanzees may need to be reviewed, say Hampshire experts

Studies linking humans to chimpanzees may need to be reviewed, say Hampshire experts

Studies linking humans to chimpanzees may need to be reviewed, say Hampshire experts

First published in News

Comparing chimpanzees and humans without considering their upbringing is like comparing a child brought up in a loving family to one brought up in a Romanian orphanage, according to researchers studying primate behaviour.

Professor Kim Bard, from the University of Portsmouth's centre for comparative and evolutionary psychology and Dr David Leavens, of the University of Sussex, are calling for a fairer design for studies comparing humans and chimpanzees that takes their background into account.

They also say that some previous studies may need to be re-examined and could be flawed.

Prof Bard said: ''Ignoring development is a real problem because primates and their social cognition develop as a result of their social and emotional experiences.''

According to Prof Bard, studies that do not take rearing into account have three major flaws.

The first is mistaking group-specific differences as ''species'' differences, the second is a lack of consideration of development in non-human primates and the third is only using one human group, usually from rich, western, families, and treating them as representative of all humans, even though they are not.

Prof Bard explained: ''For human infants we have known for decades that engagement with social partners and objects are essential developmental precursors for joint attention.

''For chimpanzees, we have known for decades that outcomes vary as a function of developmental experiences, but these developmental effects in apes have generally been ignored in theory building.

''We cannot base our scientific conclusions on flawed research designs, and argue that it would be difficult or cost more money to use a balanced research sample. That is simply not acceptable.''

The researchers, whose report is published in the Annual Review of Anthropology, have proposed a new model for ensuring that developmental experiences are appropriately considered by taking into account a more diverse range of rearing environments.

For example, in her recent research project, funded by The Leverhulme Trust, Prof Bard studied chimpanzee infants from the wild, from a zoo, from a western urban home, and from a very enriched laboratory, and human infants from a hunter gatherer community, a subsistence farming village, and a western urban home.

She said that with this new model, it could be seen to what extent the social cognition of chimpanzee infants, and human infants, varied as a function of their different social, cultural, and ecological experiences.

Prof Bard added: ''We really don't know very much about what chimpanzees are really capable of, since many of the recent studies have used institutionally-reared apes, who certainly are not the best representatives of the species.''

Comments (6)

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10:10am Tue 26 Aug 14

SouthamptonLegend says...

We did not evolve from Apes.
We did not evolve from Apes. SouthamptonLegend
  • Score: -4

11:44am Tue 26 Aug 14

forest hump says...

SouthamptonLegend wrote:
We did not evolve from Apes.
So what did we evolve from? or are you one of those creationism nutcases?
[quote][p][bold]SouthamptonLegend[/bold] wrote: We did not evolve from Apes.[/p][/quote]So what did we evolve from? or are you one of those creationism nutcases? forest hump
  • Score: 3

12:58pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Yorkyboy22 says...

forest hump wrote:
SouthamptonLegend wrote:
We did not evolve from Apes.
So what did we evolve from? or are you one of those creationism nutcases?
I think he is a Creationist nutcase. Anyway cutting edge stuff this. I think it shows that a chimp brought up in Pompey will not be as intelligent as one brought up in a caring home in say Test Valley? I might be wrong. The main thing is money is not being wasted on ridiculous research!
[quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SouthamptonLegend[/bold] wrote: We did not evolve from Apes.[/p][/quote]So what did we evolve from? or are you one of those creationism nutcases?[/p][/quote]I think he is a Creationist nutcase. Anyway cutting edge stuff this. I think it shows that a chimp brought up in Pompey will not be as intelligent as one brought up in a caring home in say Test Valley? I might be wrong. The main thing is money is not being wasted on ridiculous research! Yorkyboy22
  • Score: -1

1:31pm Wed 27 Aug 14

southy says...

So what went wrong with our posh boys in government that studied at the best private schools all there lifes. not very bright lot we been getting for 35 years
So what went wrong with our posh boys in government that studied at the best private schools all there lifes. not very bright lot we been getting for 35 years southy
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Wed 27 Aug 14

forest hump says...

southy wrote:
So what went wrong with our posh boys in government that studied at the best private schools all there lifes. not very bright lot we been getting for 35 years
What???
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: So what went wrong with our posh boys in government that studied at the best private schools all there lifes. not very bright lot we been getting for 35 years[/p][/quote]What??? forest hump
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Wed 27 Aug 14

southy says...

forest hump wrote:
southy wrote:
So what went wrong with our posh boys in government that studied at the best private schools all there lifes. not very bright lot we been getting for 35 years
What???
Well look at their backgrounds how many went to private schools all paid for, Hell bent on Death and Distruction and not a care what happens or what happens in the aftermaths to the ordinary people. How many need spin doctors to keep them where they are, where they are unable to do it them selfs.
[quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: So what went wrong with our posh boys in government that studied at the best private schools all there lifes. not very bright lot we been getting for 35 years[/p][/quote]What???[/p][/quote]Well look at their backgrounds how many went to private schools all paid for, Hell bent on Death and Distruction and not a care what happens or what happens in the aftermaths to the ordinary people. How many need spin doctors to keep them where they are, where they are unable to do it them selfs. southy
  • Score: 0

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