Monkeys DO show empathy, finds study

Monkeys DO show empathy: Macaques make more eye contact when acting ‘kindly’ and care about how their peers are feeling

  • French researchers paired up monkeys to study empathetic behaviour
  • Experiment involved treats of juice and punishing ‘airpuffs’
  • It showed most macaques chose to reward partners and not punish them
  • Suggests take the welfare of friends into account when making decisions

Now scientists have shown that the creatures also seemingly show empathy – a characteristic thought to be almost uniquely human.

The new study suggests macaque monkeys take the welfare of their friends into account when making behaviour choices that could reward or punish their peers.