Concept/Content non-human expressions of sympathy / common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)
Information caption Common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) are cooperative breeders and strongly interdependent socially. When given an opportunity (with no personal reward) in a laboratory setting, they provide food to other individuals, even without reciprocity or genetic relatedness (Burkart et al 2007). Unsolicited, other-regarding behavior may thus occur without the more sophisticated cognitive structures found in chimps and humans and without explicit reciprocation.
Inquiry caption Common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) are cooperative breeders and are strongly interdependent socially. In one test, they were given an opportunity to provide food to other individuals, but with no personal reward. What do you think they chose to do?
In these cases (even without reciprocity or genetic relatedness) they extended a small effort to provide food for others (Burkart et al 2007). In what ways might these findings about unsolicited, other-regarding behavior in apes, snow monkeys, macaques, capuchins and marmosets inform our understanding of human moral sentiments?
Target Concept: Non-human organisms exhibit sympathetic concern for both kin and non-related individuals.
Photographer Jeff Miller, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Credit Photo by Jeff Miller. © UW-Madison University Communications (#4117).
SIZE in pixels [file size] 400x600

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