Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? 30 years later

Josep Call*, Michael Tomasello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

707 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On the 30th anniversary of Premack and Woodruff's seminal paper asking whether chimpanzees have a theory of mind, we review recent evidence that suggests in many respects they do, whereas in other respects they might not. Specifically, there is solid evidence from several different experimental paradigms that chimpanzees understand the goals and intentions of others, as well as the perception and knowledge of others. Nevertheless, despite several seemingly valid attempts, there is currently no evidence that chimpanzees understand false beliefs. Our conclusion for the moment is, thus, that chimpanzees understand others in terms of a perception-goal psychology, as opposed to a full-fledged, human-like belief-desire psychology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • JOINT VISUAL-ATTENTION
  • WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS
  • PAN-TROGLODYTES
  • YOUNG CHIMPANZEES
  • FOLLOW GAZE
  • GREAT APES
  • ENCULTURATED CHIMPANZEES
  • INTENTIONAL ACTION
  • ACCIDENTAL ACTIONS
  • SOCIAL COGNITION

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