Chimpanzees successfully play the Ultimatum Game: Apes’ sense of fairness confirmed

Researchers have shown that chimpanzees possess a sense of fairness that has previously been attributed as uniquely human.


Co-author Frans de Waal, PhD, adds, “Until our study, the behavioral economics community assumed the Ultimatum Game could not be played with animals or that animals would choose only the most selfish option while playing. We’ve concluded that chimpanzees not only get very close to the human sense of fairness, but the animals may actually have exactly the same preferences as our own species.” For purposes of direct comparison, the study was also conducted separately with human children.