A recent study has put forward yet another similarity between humans and chimps. It says chimps know when they are right and they feel confident about it, just like humans.
A team of researchers claims that the chimps are capable of metacognition -- that is, they can think about their own thinking and accordingly adjust their behavior. Metacognition refers to a level of cognitive control reflecting the decision-making intelligence that a species possesses.
According to the lead researcher, Michael Beran of Georgia State, the study was an attempt to see whether animals, just like humans, show confidence and uncertainty. The researchers found that chimps do show these characteristics.
The researchers conducted a number of experiments throughout the study. For example, the researchers observed that chimps monitored the strengths of their memories before acting, Gizmodo reported.
The study was conducted on three chimpanzees who were given computerized tests to assess their memory. For each correct answer, the chimp was rewarded with food. But there was a lag before the computer program told whether the chimp's answer was right or wrong. If the chimpanzee did not reach the place where the rewards were being given, the food was lost and was not allowed to be recovered by the chimp.
It was observed that the chimps moved to the reward area faster when they knew their answer was correct, even when the computer program had not given them any feedback. This led researchers to infer that the chimps possess the ability of metacognitive monitoring.
The research results were recently published in the journal Cognition.