Capuchin monkeys display affiliation toward humans who imitate them

Paukner, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3421-1864, Suomi, S.J., Visalberghi, E. and Ferrari, P.F., 2009. Capuchin monkeys display affiliation toward humans who imitate them. Science, 325 (5942), pp. 880-883. ISSN 0036-8075

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During social interactions, humans often unconsciously and unintentionally imitate the behaviors of others, which increases rapport, liking, and empathy between interaction partners. This effect is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation facilitating group living, and may therefore be shared with other primate species. Here we show that capuchin monkeys, a highly social primate species, prefer human imitators in a variety of ways: they look longer at imitators, spend more time in proximity to imitators, and choose to interact more frequently with imitators in a token exchange task. These results demonstrate that imitation can promote affiliation in nonhuman primates. Behavior matching that leads to prosocial behaviors towards others may have been one of the mechanisms at the basis of altruistic behavioral tendencies in capuchins and in other primates including humans.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Science
Creators: Paukner, A., Suomi, S.J., Visalberghi, E. and Ferrari, P.F.
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Date: 14 August 2009
Volume: 325
Number: 5942
ISSN: 0036-8075
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 30 Mar 2021 08:30
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:05

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