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Project

What drives cooperation? Proximate factors explaining the variability in Inequity Aversion and Prosociality in bonobos

Humans stand out as extremely cooperative social beings. Currently the focus shifts towards the underlying motivations of cooperative behaviour and on the variation in these prosocial tendencies. By comparing our behaviour to that of our nearest living evolutionary relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, the evolutionary origin of cooperative behaviour can be studied.
Bonobos are considered more tolerant and cooperative than chimpanzees, but only very little experimental work has been done on bonobos in this field. The current project aims to 1) study Inequity Aversion and Prosociality as driving factors of cooperation in a large group of bonobos, by 2) comparing the bonobos’ performance on two well established experimental tasks (Platform Tasks and Token Exchange Tasks) that have not yet been used in this species; 3) to combine for first time the bonobos’ performance on the tasks with endocrinological analyses of salivary testosterone and cortisol; 4) to use information on individual factors of the bonobos (hormones, gender, personality, genotype) and characteristics of the social relationships (dominance, relationship quality) to explain variation in their performance on the Inequity Aversion and Prosociality tasks.
Datum:1 okt 2017  →  Heden
Project type:PhD project