Capuchin monkeys show concern for others’ welfare and enjoy giving to their peers — much in the way that humans do — according to a study by the Yerkes Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta, reports Reuters news service. Researchers tested eight female brown capuchin monkeys in pairs and gave them the option of choosing food for just themselves or food for themselves and their partner. They found that when the monkey’s partner was “familiar, visible, and receiving rewards of equal value,” the monkeys were more likely to give food to their partner. “The fact the capuchins predominantly selected the prosocial option must mean seeing another monkey receive food is satisfying or rewarding for them,” said Frans de Waal, who directed the research.
Should I now feel less or more ashamed of my altruistic impulses? Yes, they are natural, bestial, maybe? Maybe I can rise above these base impulses and become a social venture philanthropist one day. I can't help noticing that all eight monkeys were females. I would hope the males were made of sterner stuff.