Great apes' risk-taking strategies in a decision making task

Daniel B. M. Haun*, Christian Nawroth, Josep Call

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate decision-making behaviour in all four non-human great ape species. Apes chose between a safe and a risky option across trials of varying expected values. All species chose the safe option more often with decreasing probability of success. While all species were risk-seeking, orangutans and chimpanzees chose the risky option more often than gorillas and bonobos. Hence all four species' preferences were ordered in a manner consistent with normative dictates of expected value, but varied predictably in their willingness to take risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28801
Number of pages6
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2011


  • Chimpanzees Pan-Troglodytes
  • Reversed-Contingency Task
  • Gorilla-Gorilla Perform
  • Pongo-Pygmaeus
  • Tool Use
  • Wild Chimpanzees
  • Rhesus Macaques
  • Macaca-Mulatta
  • Quantity
  • Orangutans


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