Bonobos engage in joint commitment
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Joint action is central to human nature, enabling collectives to achieve goals otherwise unreachable by individuals. It is enabled by humans’ capacity to understand and engage in joint commitments. Joint commitments are evidenced when partners in interrupted joint actions reengage one another. To date, there is no clear evidence whether nonhuman animals understand joint commitment, suggesting that only humans experience it. Here, we revisit this claim by interrupting bonobos engaged in social activities. Bonobos reliably resumed the activity, and the likelihood of resumption was higher for social compared to solitary activities. Furthermore, communicative efforts deployed to suspend and resume social activities varied depending on partners’ social relationships and interactive roles. Our results suggest that bonobos, like humans, engage in joint commitment and have some awareness of the social consequences of breaking it.
Heesen , R , Bangerter , A , Zuberbühler , K , Rossano , F , Iglesias , K , Guéry , J-P & Genty , E 2020 , ' Bonobos engage in joint commitment ' , Science Advances , vol. 6 , no. 51 , eabd1306 . https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abd1306
Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionFunding: Research was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. CR31I3_166331 awarded to A.B. and K.Z.).
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