posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 04:07 AM
Similar to humans, chimpanzees are sensitive to social influences, but unlike many humans, they manage to maintain their own strategy to solve a
problem rather than conform to what the majority of group members are doing.
MPI Researchers found that chimpanzees are hesitant to abandon their personal preferences and behavior, even when that "familiar behavior" becomes
ineffective, according to a press release. However they do change their behavior when they can obtain greater rewards.
How do humans respond?
Wikipedia: Peer Pressure
Wikipedia: Asch Conformity Experiments
The Asch conformity experiments were a series of laboratory studies published in the 1950s that demonstrated a surprising degree of conformity to
a majority opinion. These are also known as the Asch Paradigm. Experiments led by Solomon Asch of Swarthmore College asked groups of students to
participate in a "sight test." In reality, all but one of the participants were confederates of the experimenter, and the study was really about how
the remaining student would react to the confederates' behavior.
Each participant was placed in a room with seven "confederates". Confederates knew the true aim of the experiment, but were introduced as
participants to the "real" participant. Participants were shown a card with a line on it, followed by a card with three lines on it (lines labeled A,
B and C, respectively). Participants were then asked to say aloud, which line (i.e., A, B or C) matched the line on the first card in length. Each
line question was called a "trial". Prior to the experiment, all confederates were given specific instructions on how they should respond to each
trial. Specifically, they were told to unanimously give the correct response or unanimously give the incorrect response. The group sat in a manner so
that the real participant was always the last to respond (i.e., the real participant sat towards the end of a table). For the first two trials, the
participant would feel at ease in the experiment, as he and the confederates gave the obvious, correct answer. On the third trial, the confederates
would all give the same wrong answer, placing the participant in a dilemma.
So in Chimpanzee society, a Chimp will still observe the actions of his or her friends, and then change what he or she does if it proves to reap a
better reward - but if it does not, the chimp will not change his or her methodology.
If a Chimpanzee was involved in the Asch Conformity Experiment, he or she would likely ignore the wrong answers given by peers and give the correct
Notice that the Chimps will not abandon familiar behavior, even if it is proven ineffective, until they are shown behavior that is effective.
Humans, on the other hand, are an entirely different social animal - I get the feeling that they don't even worry about what is effective or not most
of the time - and this is the dangerous part of the human race.
An example involving the clause two paragraphs above: let us say that people decide that drinking water does not work because their water has been
polluted - someone comes along offering acid as a solution - people might flock to the acid before it has proven to be an effective alternative.
However, humans are not the only ones that submit to peer pressure - rats do as well.
Until now, only humans and chimps were known to succumb to peer pressure, to the extent that we often ignore our own experiences based on the
preferences of others. But a new study in brown rats shows that these rodents are similarly prone to following the Joneses. They can even
be persuaded to choose a piece of food that they know makes them sick if they smell it on the breath of a ‘demonstrator’ rat.
The important part I highlighted in pink because it shows that they will knowingly participate in harmful behavior due to peer pressure.
on 31amTue, 31 Dec 2013 04:16:49 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)