A clever new study (involving a researcher in a Kong costume) suggests that great apes can understand the minds of others, even when those others hold false beliefs—a crucial part of theory of mind that, until recently, apes had always failed to show.
I know that you know that I know things that you don't know, and that you know things that I don't know, but do apes know? (It turns out—maybe they do!)
Do apes have theory of mind? Clever experiments are suggestive, but alternative explanations still remain. Imagine we applied such rigorous scrutiny to human psych data as we do to studies of animal cognition? Few of our wild explanations would hold up.
Are apes able to understand that others might have distinct beliefs and knowledge about the world? And that those beliefs might be inaccurate? A new study suggests that they might, reports
“In the pursuit of new knowledge, some scientists explore other worlds, discover new species, & develop cures for disease. Others film themselves being robbed by a colleague in a King Kong suit, to address a debate that’s been raging for over 40 years.”
Are apes able to understand that others might have distinct beliefs and knowledge about the world? And that those beliefs might be inaccurate? A new study suggests that they might, reports
Do Apes Have a Theory of Mind? Apes Might Know That You Don’t Know What They Know
Do Apes Have a Theory of Mind? - The Atlantic
Apes "can’t conceive of states of the world that are decoupled from their current reality. They can think about the minds of others, but only when those minds have the same contents as theirs.” 2thoughts: (1) strong thalamocort input, (2) current politics
Everybody loves the new ape theory of mind study!
“Are we smart enough to know how smart animals are?”