Concept/Content innate dispositions / unsolicited help from a young chimpanzee
Information caption One way to assess foundational moral motivation is to observe behavior before possible learning or training. Human infants (age 18 months), for example, frequently help adults in simple problematic tasks in a lab setting without being asked and without reward. As seen here, young chimps (ages 3 to 4 years) also exhibit the same behavior, at least when they are able to understand the incomplete task (Warneken and Tomasello 2006).
Inquiry caption This chimp is helping the human reach something inside the box by lifting a panel the human cannot reach. This was part of a recent study that showed spontaneous (unsolicited) help in young chimps (ages 3 to 4 years), as well as in human infants (age 18 months) [Warnecken & Tomasello 2006]. Would you consider such helping behavior primarily innate or learned? What does it mean that such helping behavior is less common in older chimps and, sometimes, humans?
Target Concept [continued]: Humans and some other primates exhibit moral sentiments at a very early age.
Source Felix Warneken, Max Planck Institute
Credit Courtesy of Felix Warneken. © MPI EVA.
SIZE in pixels [file size] 661x523

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