Monday, February 16, 2009

How Context Changes the Perception of What's Good

This is a very interesting clip showing some capuchin (monkey) behavior. The first part shows capuchins working together to accomplish a task, which is itself quite interesting. But the second part is also very interesting. It shows two capuchins, one which receives a dry biscuit for completing a task and one which receives a succulent grape (apparently more desirable for capuchins) for completing the same task. The first capuchin is alright with receiving the biscuit until he sees the other capuchin recieve a grape. Once he sees that, he refuses to accept the biscuit and holds out for a grape.

What would be interesting would be to see how the capuchins behave when a biscuit is the reward for a simple task and a grape is the reward for a complex task. Would the capuchins grasp that harder work is deserving of a more desirable reward?

Via the Nudge blog.

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