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  • kayla.meyer_144

    May 25, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Not trying to restart this topic but an interesting article that underlines this issue, basically we’re wired that way, our social structure is that.

    When you look at apes and children in situations requiring them to put their heads together, a subtle but significant difference emerges. We have observed that children, but not chimpanzees, expect and even demand that others who have committed themselves to a joint activity stay involved and not shirk their duties. When children want to opt out of an activity, they recognize the existence of an obligation to help the group they know that they must, in their own way, take leave to make amends. Humans structure their collaborative actions with joint goals and shared commitments.

    Another subtle but crucial difference can be seen in communication. The great apes chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans communicate almost exclusively for the purpose of getting others to do what they want. Human infants, in addition, gesture and talk in order to share information with others they want to be helpful. They also share their emotions and attitudes freely as when an infant points to a passing bird for its mother and squeals with glee. This unprompted sharing of information and attitudes can be seen as a forerunner of adult gossip, which ensures that members of a group can pool their knowledge and know who is or is not behaving cooperatively. The free sharing of information also creates the possibility of pedagogy in which adults impart information by telling and showing, and children trust and use this information with confidence. Our nearest primate relatives do not teach and learn in this manner.