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Reduced risk-seeking in chimpanzees in a zero-outcome game

Keupp, S; Grueneisen, S; Ludvig, EA; Warneken, F; Melis, AP; (2020) Reduced risk-seeking in chimpanzees in a zero-outcome game. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 376 (1819) , Article 20190673. 10.1098/rstb.2019.0673. Green open access

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Abstract

A key component of economic decisions is the integration of information about reward outcomes and probabilities in selecting between competing options. In many species, risky choice is influenced by the magnitude of available outcomes, probability of success and the possibility of extreme outcomes. Chimpanzees are generally regarded to be risk-seeking. In this study, we examined two aspects of chimpanzees' risk preferences: first, whether setting the value of the non-preferred outcome of a risky option to zero changes chimpanzees’ risk preferences, and second, whether individual risk preferences are stable across two different measures. Across two experiments, we found chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes, n = 23) as a group to be risk-neutral to risk-avoidant with highly stable individual risk preferences. We discuss how the possibility of going empty-handed might reduce chimpanzees' risk-seeking relative to previous studies. This malleability in risk preferences as a function of experimental parameters and individual differences raises interesting questions about whether it is appropriate or helpful to categorize a species as a whole as risk-seeking or risk-avoidant. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Existence and prevalence of economic behaviours among non-human primates’.

Type: Article
Title: Reduced risk-seeking in chimpanzees in a zero-outcome game
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0673
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0673
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108777
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