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Folk Physics for ApesThe Chimpanzee's theory of how the world works$
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Daniel Povinelli

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198572190

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198572190.001.0001

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The bendable‐tool and tool-construction problems: the question of tool modification

The bendable‐tool and tool-construction problems: the question of tool modification

Chapter:
(p.271) Chapter 11 THE BENDABLE‐TOOL AND TOOL-CONSTRUCTION PROBLEMS: THE QUESTION OF TOOL MODIFICATION
Source:
Folk Physics for Apes
Author(s):

Daniel J. Povinelli

James E. Reaux

Laura A. Teall

Steve Giambrone

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198572190.003.0011

This chapter presents the results of experiments that were undertaken to determine if the chimpanzees' ability to modify tools reflects an underlying appreciation of the causal structure of the problems at hand. The results suggest that although chimpanzees will modify tools if they understand their properties, these actions are only weakly related (if at all) to an understanding of the causal structure of the particular problem that they face. However, with strong support and scaffolding chimpanzees did provide evidence of ultimately modifying tools in ways that were appropriate to the tasks they faced.

Keywords:   properties, causal structure, tool modification

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