Correspondence: Reply to ‘Chimpanzee helping is real, not a byproduct’

Keith Jensen, Claudio Tennie, Josep Call

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


In their recent study, Tennie et al.1 argue that positive instances of chimpanzees helping others can be a byproduct of testing methods1. The study includes a new task where chimpanzees can behave prosocially toward a conspecific either through an action (GO-condition) or by omission (NO-GO condition). The study further aims to test whether stimulus enhancement or carry-over effects from prior experiences explain previous results. We agree that a helping-by-omission task could in principle provide intri- guing new evidence for chimpanzee helping. However, here we raise a number of crucial methodological issues that question the current interpretation of the study’s results. Furthermore, the study fails to consider the evidence from prior work addressing these concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Article number616
Pages (from-to)616
Number of pages2
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2018


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