Monday, October 8, 2007
Chimps Act Like Humans: "I has a bucket!"
People often strangely consider something more valuable once they own it. Now scientists find this same apparently irrational behavior in chimps, a finding that could help shed light on the human mind.
For decades, researchers have puzzled over the fact that people often consider an item more valuable when it's theirs compared to how valuable they felt it was before they owned it. For instance, when college students were offered either a coffee mug or a chocolate bar, they had no strong preference for either, an experiment nearly 20 years ago suggested. However, when they were randomly given either the mugs or the chocolate, they strongly preferred keeping their new gifts to exchanging them for the other.