Are you looking for a viral content? Then, for the first time, it is shown that they have this ability believed to be exclusive to humans. In 1835 the first chimpanzee arrived in London Zoo to fascinate its visitors. Then there would be Jenny, an orangutan dressed in women’s clothing. Queen Victoria visited the exhibit and was horrified at the sight of the animal: “Frightful, painful and unpleasantly human.” But not everyone dreaded the same dread: “Seeing the same orangutan and chimpanzee in the same zoo, Darwin reacted quite differently, inviting anyone who was convinced of human superiority to go and have a look. saw a threat, Darwin felt a connection, “wrote the primatologist Frans de Waal.
Since we know the great apes, we have been attracted by their gaze, but at the same time, many have tried to establish clear boundaries that differentiate us. Features and abilities of humans that no animal possesses, not even our cousins the chimpanzees. Walls were raised between them and us with the use of tools, with memory, with thought, with self-consciousness or with empathy. All have been falling. And today a study published in Science demolishes another one: great apes are also able to understand what someone is thinking, even when that idea collides with their own knowledge.
The theory of mind is called this ability to anticipate intentions and thoughts in others. In 2007 an experiment was conducted that marked this conjecture by testing this predictive capacity in young children. Before the eyes of a child of two years, an object is introduced in one of the two boxes that are on the table. An actor enters the sequence and then retreats without seeing what happens next. Then, the box object is removed without the actor knows it. Up to that time, it was thought that children so small could not know what another does not know: that is if the child sees that the object is no longer there would assume that everyone knows it just like him. However, in this study, Victoria Southgate found that children as young as two years knew that the actor, upon returning, would look for the object in the box that was already empty. The children understood that the other person did not yet know that they had moved the object: they read their mind, guessing what knowledge they have and what misconceptions lead them to make a failed decision.
In most cases, these animals looked at the empty box: they knew that the actor was going to go wrong and look for the object where he was leaving. They were perfectly capable of anticipating their action because they understand that there is, and what is not, in the mind of the other. It was a surprise, we really have been working on this for a long time and it has never been observed that they were able to anticipate so accurately that someone has a false belief.