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Journal Article

Chimpanzee social cognition


Call,  Josep       
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Call, J. (2001). Chimpanzee social cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 5(9), 388-393. doi:10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01728-9.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-0877-C
In the late 1970s, Premack and Woodruff asked whether chimpanzees had a theory of mind. The answer to this question has remained elusive. Whereas some authors argue that chimpanzees are capable of mental state attribution, others maintain that they simply learn certain cues in ertain situations. Recent studies challenge both views. On the one hand, chimpanzees know much more about seeing than cue-based explanations suggest; on the other hand, this knowledge does not necessarily entail understanding of the mental states of others. The hypothesis I put forward here is that chimpanzees learn cues in social situations but that they are also capable of knowledge abstraction to solve novel problems.