Chimpanzee problem-solving: a test for comprehension

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Science  03 Nov 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4367, pp. 532-535
DOI: 10.1126/science.705342


An adult chimpanzee was shown videotaped scenes of a human actor struggling with one of eight problems and was then shown two photographs, one of which depicted an action or an object (or both) that could constitute a solution to the problem. On seven of the eight problems, the animal consistently chose the correct photograph. This test problem-solving comprehension permits the animal's knowledge about problem-solving--its ability to infer the nature of problems and to recognize potential solutions to them--to be examined.