You may have thought things like currency or money are concepts known solely by man – something which differentiates humans from animals. Some might have a sense of ownership, besides of course territory, but trading and the likes haven’t been observed in any other species besides homo sapiens. However, in 2005, an economist/psychologist duo from Yale managed to teach seven capuchin monkeys how to use money, and I’m pretty sure from here on some of you might be able to guess what happened from there on.

Monkey Business

Gotta pay the rent tomorrow on the cage. Still a few monkey dollars short.

“Gotta pay the rent tomorrow on the cage. Still a few monkey dollars short.”

“The capuchin has a small brain, and it’s pretty much focused on food and sex,” said Keith Chen, a Yale economist who along with Laurie Santos, a psychologist, are the two researchers who have had made the study. ”You should really think of a capuchin as a bottomless stomach of want,” Chen says. ”You can feed them marshmallows all day, they’ll throw up and then come back for more.”

It’s exactly these selfish desires that they tried to exploit and experiment with great success after teaching capuchins to buy grapes, apples and Jell-O. The economist wanted to study the incentives that motivated specimens to behave in a way, while the psychologist analyzed the behavior itself.

Chen’s monkey correlations to human economics attempts go from farther back when he was a Harvard graduate, and additionally shows some more interesting facts. He worked there with Marc Hauser, a psychologist, on a project which studied altruism behaviors in monkeys. They chose cotton-top tamarins for this. At first they put two in different cages, each with a lever. When the lever was pulled, the neighboring monkey would receive food. If not altruism, it was still a form of cooperation which was put to the test  – the typical tamarin pulled the lever about 40 percent of the time.

The most interesting part comes about at the time when researchers paced the game a bit harder. Now, they instructed a monkey to always pull the lever (mindless altruist), and an other to never pull it (ego-monkey). The two were then inserted in the game with other monkeys. At first, the mindless altruist was pulling the lever every time, never missing a cage for its food, while the other tamarins responded in the same way  50 percent of the time. The other monkeys soon understood, though, that the mindless altruist was just pulling the lever anyway, indifferently of whether it was reciprocated or not – their response dropped to 30 percent of the time. The ego-monkey was exposed to the harshest treatment, as expected – very harshly. “[The other tamarins] would just go nuts,” Chen recalls when she was introduced with all the other. ”They’d throw their feces at the wall, walk into the corner and sit on their hands, kind of sulk.

I bought an Adam Sandler for 7 monkey dollars.

“I bought an Adam Sandler for 7 monkey dollars.”

When Chen and Santos first started their study, they didn’t have a particular goal in mind. It was just as simple as giving a monkey a dollar and see what would happen, which was exactly the case, instead of the dollar, however, a silver disc with a hole in its center was employed a means of currency for the capuchins. It took several months of repetition for the capuchins to learn that they could exchange such a token for fruit. After they understood this, each monkey was given 12 tokens to decide on how to spend it in her best interest on food valued at different prices. Researchers observed that the monkeys could very well budget. Researchers then changed the market and put Jell-O at a lower price, to see if monkeys would buy less grapes and more Jell-O. They acted exactly like the current laws of economics dictate for humans as well.

They then taught them how to gamble, and saw they made the same irrational decisions a human gambler would make as well. The data generated by the capuchin monkeys, Chen says, ”make them statistically indistinguishable from most stock-market investors.”

The capuchin monkeys understood money, not only used it

Do they understand the value of money or do the monkeys just follow nice treats? Well, on a particular day, a researcher cut circular slices of cucumber, similar to the discs that were handed out to the capuchin as money, and fed them to the monkeys instead of the usual cube-like shape. One of the monkeys took a slice, chewed a bit on it, and then immediately went to one of the researchers to see if she could buy something tastier with it. Oh, and then again there’s stealing too. Not a single monkey saved any of the tokens, but most of them tried to subtract a few more tokens when they were handed out. The monkeys were given tokens one at a time by inserting them in a separate chamber from that of their living quarters, but on one occasion everything sprung into chaos when a capuchin tried to make a run for it with a tray filled with tokens and ended up back with all the other monkeys. That was a tough time for researchers.

Something else happened then too, tough , in what’s maybe the most evident form of one’s grasp upon currency. The idea is that you can use money as a form of currency to exchange for goods or services, as in not just food. Well, one of the researchers, during the chaos event, observed how one of the monkeys exchanged money to another for sex. After the act was over, the monkey which was paid immediately used it to buy a grape…

There you have it folks, sounds familiar? In almost all aspects, capuchins manage to understand money and use it in a manner not too different from a plain old homo sapiens. The study, titled “How Basic Are Behavioral Biases? Evidence From Capuchin Monkey Trading Behavior“, can be read here.

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  • Andrei Cristescu

    Now, here’s an article I really enjoyed :)  keep it up, guys !

  • tibipuiu

    He, glad you liked it , mate! More like this up for posting in the near future. Btw, any chance of getting back to Bucharest any time  soon? Beer sounds awesome!

  • Pingback: Les singes capucins et l’argent < Lapin Pénible | Insolite, Humour, Inutile, Street Art et Carottes râpées()

  • ponerology

    First of all; there is no way that Chen and Santos just did this to see what would happen and that there is no agenda afoot. (Yeah, we’re all that stupid we’ll swallow that hogwash, right?)  The point is to (again) equate humans with animals; of course, only our “closest relatives from the furry animal kingdom, naturally. It was also to determine how altruistically humans will behave as we go into banker caused/driven “austerity”. What percentage of the population will help fellow humans who are in a jam. After all, the powers that be need to know in order to get rid of those people first. The’d be enemies of the state. Only the state can “help” its “citizens”.

  • Pingback: How scientists taught monkeys the concept of money. Not long after, the first prostitute monkey appeared | Survive Change()

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  • JamesTucker

    yaaaa jajajaja

  • Kate

    Gambling?  Prostitution?  Those monkeys sure show us how intelligent humans are when they behave this way… :-)  Very interesting experiment!  Thanks for writing this.  Tibi, are you Hungarian by any chance?  

  • tibipuiu

    Thank you :). No, I’m Romanian, actually. 

  • 24hourwealthcoach

    Very cool article. Would be interesting to see if monkeys could be encouraged to save or invest, if given the chance (and if given the opportunity of higher priced goods, delayed gratification etc). Coming soon: monkey online gambling, monkey online stockbroking and monkey online pornography. :-) Are we so ignorant to claim we’re so superior, when most of us have not risen above these same, base, animalistic desires, choices & habits?

  • ScottAdler

    And girls still haven’t changed. Only the price has gone up. (Isn’t it funny that Tibi didn’t mention the sex of the buyer and seller, and didn’t have to?)

    Every straight man discovers this rule on his first date. How I envy gays…

  • ScottAdler

    As a female, how many coins do you think is a fair price?

  • Political progressives believe that communal not individualistic desires motivates and drives human behavior. This study would seem to disprove that theory at its most basic level.

  • tibipuiu

    the sex of the prostitute monkey wasn’t disclosed in the study, however a safe assumption would be that it was female. Mating is a process which generally requires qualification from the male’s part that he’s suitable enough for the female – sex is considered a prize in the animal kingdom, as well as in human society. The male could pass having to validate himself in front of the female by “paying”. The only situation I could see this happening the other way around is if the female would be looking to mate with the alpha of the group. 

  • This article is a revelation.  The older I get, the more I’ve come to suspect that sentience is not a universal human characteristic.  Most of us are used to seeing certain people repeatedly and consistently behave in a foolish manner, often in multiple areas of their life, and then jump through intellectual hoops in order to rationalize their poor choices.  When this isn’t possible they become hostile and demand that you stop hassling them.  They are driven to act by something more akin to instinct than thought, that their higher brains then try to rationalize away.  Some can be quite intelligent.  Being smart simply allows such a person to engage in higher levels of rationalization, sometimes even convincing others that their rationalizatons actually correspond with reality.

    Gambling is the perfect example.  How can someone be “addicted” to losing money?  When their ability to accurately calculate the cost/benefit ratio of gambling is impaired by a pre-cognitive bias.  They keep doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result.

    Then there are those whose choices are more rational.  They feel the same instinctive drives that others do, but instead of acting upon such drives and then attempting to rationalize them, they work to control these impulses and to know when they are useful and when they are not. 

    Such people tend to do better in life, and they tend to meet and marry those like themselves.  The result over the long run may very well be a genetic bifurcation, the first glimmers of which are already evident in the physical, emotional, and intellectual variances that can be found in different zip codes.

    Human evolution has never been a lock-step phenomenon.  It is not the case that a beneficial trait appears in all individuals simultaneously.  Rather it appears in a single individual through random mutation, and then propagates through the gene pool, displacing less advantageous traits.  Any trait that offers up a relative advantage for survival or breeding potential will do this.  This is why it is important to avoid creating through which dysfunctional behavior will be rewarded, welfare state policies being the prime example. 

  • What I want to know is how they got my wife to participate in the study without my knowing.

  • I think the article may be a little misleading.  They understand money in the sense of exchange, but not value.  Humans are the only primates that grasp the concept of trading one thing they like a lot for many things they like a little bit.   This led to trade and the accompanying gains from comparative advantage, and so is arguably the trait most responsible for our success as a species.

    I think to the monkeys the tokens aren’t really a store of value, they’re just something of no particular use to them which they can trade for something else they like more. I would be interested to see if they could get the monkeys to trade less Jello for more grapes, etc, because studies with chimps (who are closer to humans) have shown they cannot grasp this concept: they will always prefer any quantity of the thing they like more.

  • I actually assumed it was two males.

  • Nukgod

    I think you are giving humans too much credit.  If most humans really understood, would debt be amassed in quantities.  Most humans also prefer the “quantity” to the “value”.

  • sgtted

    Did any of the monkeys form a charity with their money? 

  • sgtted

    The study is useful in that it may be that some of the behaviors we engage in that are high risk entertainment, like gambling and whoring, that we think are the results of being civilized may just be early group instincts that we continue to act upon. What the monkeys don’t do is save, nor will they form charitable groups to pool currency resources to help the helpless. What they also won’t do is try to control it to limit long term negative consequences.

  • Willy

    Proof positive that it really is the “oldest profession.”

  • Roger_Murdock

    “Well, on a particular day, a researcher cut circular slices of cucumber, similar to the discs that were handed out to the capuchin as money, and fed them to the monkeys instead of the usual cube-like shape. One of the monkeys took a slice, chewed a bit on it, and then immediately went to one of the researchers to see if she could buy something tastier with it.”

    I love the attempt at currency debasement. Our government should give that monkey a job!

  • jonathanzacharias

    no, they’re monkeys.

  • graybuffalo

    Did any monkey take the leadership role and force upon the rest health care?  Or hand out food “entitlements?”  Or run around to all the other monkeys apologizing?  Or silencing the other monkeys’ right to communication?   Did the lead monkey take frequent vacations, play golf, and lie a lot?

  •  I don’t see monkeys discussing the psychology of other animals on Monkey Internet, so I suspect we are considerably superior to them.  In fact, we are superior to everything else in nature.  This gives us responsibility, but also justifies our usage of nature.

  • wbonesteel

    I’d already reached the conclusion that today’s world only makes sense if you compare it to “The Lord of the Flies.”

    It doesn’t seem that I was too far off the mark in reaching that conclusion.

  • alanhenderson

    Hey, if monkeys can pick up on this the apes can’t be far behind. Charlton Heston, call your office.

  • Now, teach them politics so we can learn if really it was the second oldest proffesion

  • Monty Washington

     No, I think Tall Dave is absolutely correct here- you’re counter argument takes the reading that because some humans don’t exhibit behavior far above this (which I would dispute anyway, even in the most selfish and immediately temporal humans), there is no difference.  The difference is that humans understand the concept at all (utilizing consistantly it or not, is irrelevant), and the monkeys never do.

    The tokens are money to the researchers because that’s their internal understanding of tokens- an abstract representation of value.  To the monkeys, it’s a real tool that can be used to get food.  Nothing complex or advanced in that thinking.

    The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.  Occam’s razor.

  •  Absolutely. Those damn political progressives need to remember that there’s no meaningful difference between humans and capuchin monkeys, and therefore we need to adopt libertarianism now. Vote Ron Paul and we can finally have the capuchin monkey president we deserve!

  • D.Orkneil

    Bonobos are monkey that do transact sex as a social experience, and engage in same-sex intercourses. 
    What you’re doing here, Tibipuiu is mostly projecting human perception on animal behaviour, which actually does add water to the original point.

  • Neighbourhood_Nerd


  • Squid Exedor

    A “new” breed of monkey immediately who wore beanies, claimed they were the chosen representatives of the Monkey God. They started lying, cheating and stealing from the other monkeys Eventually, they claimed some monkeys killed 6 million of them and demanded a new homeland………….

  • Kipwin

    There’s no mention of the “prostitute” behavior in the actual research to which the article links. Hmmmm.


    this is a very nice an d informative post i like this alot.

  • feenomeenum

    Nowhere that I could see in this study do the authors mention a monkey prostituting herself for token(s).

  •  The article’s point is, when the monkeys learned the monetary system of money being used to buy other items, the female monkey acquired money by trading sex.  The male monkeys’ behavior catalyst are focused on food & sex, so the female monkey capitalized on this weakness by trading sex to acquire the male’s money, which she used to buy food.  Humans are no different; in times of economic constraints, women will resort to prostitution, then use the money to buy food and a place to stay, while men will resort to violence by robbing and stealing to acquire money (or food) to survive.  In our society, in place of violence, men resort to selling drugs. 

  • Jimothy Jones

    No there was one there who claimed it was a patriot and taught greed to everyone 

  • graybuffalo

    Maybe about 49% of the monkeys were on “entitlements” paid for by the other working monkeys.  Maybe the difference in how many bananas they earned between being on welfare and having a job was miniscule;  hence, why work?  All the Democrat monkeys spent their time demonstrating on Wall Street – defecating on police cars, raping fellow demonstrators, fighting, and leaving public monkey parks a mess.  They sat around and demonized the capitalist monkeys who were out working every day to earn the bananas that they gave to the welfare monkeys.  The Democrat monkeys refused to work because they felt the world owed them a living.  Then, the leader Democrat monkey saw a bunch of foreign invader monkeys coming across their southern border and decided to provide these invaders with free bananas earned by the Republican monkeys.  The leader monkey knew he could retain his leadership by allowing the invader monkeys to stay and vote to keep him in his leadership role.  He didn’t care if they were illegal.  The leader monkey never learned the definition of “legal” when he went to Monkey Law School.  The monkeys had a set of rules and laws that they abide by;  however, the leader monkey decided to throw the laws out and make his own..he didn’t care if he had taken an oath to uphold the laws the rest of the monkeys had put in place.  The leader monkey knew that if he had the “invader” vote, the vote from the monkeys of the same color, and the vote from those who felt the world owed them a living, he would surely retain his leadership.  What could possibly go wrong? 

  • Jimothy Jones

    I tend to stick with occams’s razor

  • graybuffalo

    Figures.  Simplicity for a simpleton. 
    Winston Churchill put it quite succinctly… although he didn’t know it at the time, he sums up Obama’s agenda:

    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of
    ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..” – Winston Churchill

  • Alan

    I think the ‘prostitution’ angle came out of an interview of Chen for their book ‘Freakonomics’ by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, see: ‘Monkey Business’:

  • Nancy
  • Nancy

    But the if the article’s point isn’t supported by the study, then where is the article getting the point? From some standard right-wing misogynist evolutionary psychology view of human females? That sure wouldn’t be a surprise but it looks like it’s all just you, free-associating.

     The article doesn’t say the gender of the “prostitute” monkey.

    The article does say “‘The capuchin has a small brain, and it’s pretty much focused on food and sex,”

    So are you saying that female capuchins are some kind of different species from the male capuchins and therefore have different motivations? Or that females of any species are “naturally” interested in money but not sex?

    Try not making a judgment of all primate females based on your mom.

  • Nancy

     This site is just lousy with misogynists, isn’t it?

  • ScottAdler

    And filthy with misandrists. Go read the Scum Manifesto.

  • imfuckingyourwife

    “Did any monkey take the leadership role and force upon the rest health care?  Or hand out food “entitlements?””

    from the article, it didn’t seem like they set up any sort of system for providing social services conducive to well-being. but then again, they’re monkeys. what was your point?

  • Danceswithretards

    man, seriously, you should spend less time watching fox news and more time at your local soup kitchen. if you think homeless people are so entitled then you should quit your job and become one; but you won’t do that because you know that what you’re saying isn’t true.

  • graybuffalo

     Look up the definition of “sarcasm.”   I guess the point I am trying to make is on top of your head.  I am retired, so no job to quit.  I am just sooo sick of the Alinsky puppet moron in office putting as many people as he can on “entitlements” to buy votes. He has doubled the number of people on Food Stamps since he took office and actually is rewarding States for signing people up.  Can’t you see what the man is doing??  Are you so intoxicated with the paper thin rhetoric which spews from his cloaca and which never comes to fruition?  He follows the Cloward-Piven Strategy to a tee.  Destroy capitalism, free/private enterprise, private ownership by overwhelming our economy with debt, then install his Totalitarian Socialist State.  Obama is now at the level of having 49% of the country on “entitlements” – or, let’s call it what it really is, “welfare.”  Pretty soon the other half will say “why work?”  Obama wants everyone to be subservient and dependent upon the “nanny” state. His father was a Muslim, his mother a Communist.  Nice upbringing for a child. Socialism is closely entwined with Islam.  Google “what makes obama tick” and click on “The View from 1776.”  As for the Cloward-Piven Strategy and the new world order, google “cloward-piven obama and the new world order” – it is a cover story from Forbes Magazine. 

  • graybuffalo

     Just think of what Obama is doing and figure it out. 

  • graybuffalo

    Hey lunatic liberals, here is your unvetted lead/fraud monkey:

    Forged Birth certificate issued by the White House!
    Multiple Social Security numbers!
    Sealed College records!
    Surrendered license to practice law!
    Missing birth records in Hawaii!
    Selective Service records sealed!
    Foreign Passports!
    Association with known Communists and subversives!
    Sworn testimonies by credible witnesses proving Obama was not born in
    America’s top Sherriff threatened if he continues investigating the Obama
    …and the list goes on!

  • Lucinda Syndney

    This is an article on Monkey Prostitutes! What the hell is wrong with you people?

  • graybuffalo

    If the shoe fits, wear it. The story is about monkeys, but it fits something else quite nicely.

  • graybuffalo

    If the shoe fits, wear it. It is not what is wrong with us, it is what is wrong with having an elected President who demonizes and penalizes the producers of this country and rewards those who thinks the world owes them a living and refuse to work. Redistribution of bananas? Now do you get it? It is about a President who gives $1.5 BILLION of our tax dollars to the enemy of this country, The Muslim Brotherhood. Tantamount to treason. It is about a President who conspires with the Fast and Furious scheme to discredit gun store owners in hopes of furthering his gun control agenda. In the offing, an ATF agent was ki!!ed along with 150+ Mexicans. Guilty of being an accessory to m u r d e r? At least in Watergate no one died. The horrific state of our economy due to his mismanagement not withstanding.

  • Lucinda Syndney

    I repeat, you took an article about Monkeys and dreailed it to wank over yoru own politcal bullshit. This is nitehr the tiem nor place for your self-centered deluded bullshit. You people are scum, take this shit back to youtube and keep your dumbass views on when its apropriate to speak on certain subjects back to youtube.

  • graybuffalo

    Now you have forced me to go back and re-read Glenn Beck’s book “Arguing With Idiots.” I should know better than to try to educate a moron in a few paragraphs. Go ahead and pull the lever again for your implementer of the Cloward-Piven Strategy for destroying capitalism/free/private enterprise and ownership. And “fundamentally changing” our beloved country into a Totalitarian Socialist/Commun1st State. You ignorant misinformed, uninformed lunatic liberals make me want to projectile vomit. Get a life. Preferable outside the U.S.A. since you don’t give a damn about it. May I suggest Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela?

  • Your point essentially stating that it’s not natural to be altruistic and support those worse off is a fair one if you think that we should be no better than monkeys. However, if you hold your intellect in higher esteem than that of a monkey, and you believe that human beings are more highly evolved than monkeys, perhaps we should ask more of ourselves behaviourally than them. Caring for people less fortunate than ourselves despite it not necessarily serving our own selfish needs at the time is a good thing, and interestingly, I note that a lot of Romney supporters are Christian. Would Jesus support universal healthcare or was he more on the ‘screw the poor, it’s their own fault’ spectrum? Anyway, I’m sure you’re busy what with all the poo flinging and grooming you must need to get done.

  • TheMatrixDNA

    The curious thing is that we never see Republican/capitalists monkeys really working, which means, making some useful object with their own hands or tools, 10 or 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, a whole year, 30 years, as all of us has made, inside a a factory, or carrying on blocks for foundations, producing their own food. All republicans/capitalists, at every country, that I saw, are always with clean clothes, occupying social positions as predators, and talking, talking, bla,bla,bla…

  • graybuffalo

    What is the one thing you will never see in a Democrat’s home? Answer: A pair of work boots.

  • So, the next question is, could you train the monkeys to do stuff for tokens? Like clean the toilet, etc. The monkeys sound pretty bright, about as bright as any other worker bee. Minimum wage for a monkey has to be lower than for a human.

  • wasushi

    You say you’re retired. Are you accepting social security ? I hope not because tht would be awfully hypocritical of you. I don’t consider myself a democrat (because democrats and republicans are the same thing) but I’m sure you would consider me a liberal or a libertarian because you’re an old republican, but anyways I work two jobs and I work my a off for your social security or other people’s social security that I’m not even going to receive when I retire so I don’t really have time to hear your misguided stuck-in-your ways opinion. You’re kind, older people that refuse to admit that our monetary system and capitalistic society has failed and is a sham are the ones keeping the corporate government spinning with college tuition three times the rate of inflation (and old people think every young person needs to go to college to be a productive member of society LOL), IRS stealing our money, wage slaves to the dollar/indentured servitude, corporate executives making $11 million dollars a year

  • graybuffalo

    Weak argument… I contributed to Soc. Security – not an “entitlement.” I would rather have had handled the money myself. By the way, the Social Security Fund was opened up to be borrowed against by none other than LBJ. Big mistake! Lunatic liberals.

  • Christopher Galvin

    Evidently you don’t know shite!

  • Christopher Galvin

    You didn’t read the article did you? Not every damn thing is politics for crying out loud!

  • Christopher Galvin

    Well, if I wanted to argue with an idiot I would turn to Glenn Beck too. Let’s talk about the monkeys! I am getting convinced that some people have nothing else constructive to do say they spread their political beliefs when ever they get the chance. It could be news about the second coming of Christ and it would still be something to rant about and change into politics!!!! Give us a break.

  • Christopher Galvin

    President Nixon was the one who really got the Welfare program going. It is a fact! Don’t blame EVERYTHING on Democrats! And I am not one you bull-headed bastard.

  • Rin

    I wonder if this is less an example of “paying” for a service, and more an example of foreplay, or courting?

    If it was more of a courting ritual, the introduction of currency would just be a warping of that courting ritual to suit our ideas of bartering for a service. At the same time, there isn’t a VAST difference between “courting” behaviors and bartering; the difference is generally in length of the period prior to consummation, and the desired length of the relationship after courtship. But even human courting could just be with the intent of a single encounter.

    Which begs the question:

    Is there that much of a difference between them? Are commonly accepted courting rituals, like taking someone out to dinner or buying them a gift (for humans) really that different from directly PAYING for sexual interaction? Is the only difference in our perception of it? That introducing direct currency turns it from a “relationship”, no matter how brief, into a transaction, which is socially crass (in western cultures at least.)

    I’m sure that a lot of people would be really bothered by that slim of a distinction. I suppose that I’m not bothered because I don’t see anything particularly crass or unacceptable about consensual prostitution as a service.

  • Klas Mattsson


    Paying a woman to make her like you is fundamentally different from paying a woman to have sex with you.

    In the first case, you are showing your worth as a provider, which is just basic biology (Note, often way more important to attraction then physical attributes, status is pretty much always the dominating attractive factor).
    In the second case, you aren’t trying to attract them, you are simply performing an action of trade.

    I could write loads more, but a woman getting bought stuff is not prostitution unless you only give it to them if they guarantee sex.

    So, yes, huge difference, even before we go in to the whole “guys actually liking relationships and also receive things from their partners”.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    Next thing you are going to say is that they are not coming to take away the monkeys guns and force them into fema death camps.

  • Rachel

    I don’t think your argument is very valid. Only because a dollar bill means absolutely nothing to me other than trading it for something of actual value. They taught the monkeys the modern version of currency, not trade as we used to do. It was to see how basic our behavior towards money is, not to say there isn’t a difference between people and monkeys. We already know we are extremely similar. The 1 big difference is that a monkey (or any other animal) has never asked a question they just accept the world how it is. This trait is something humans start around 3-4 suggesting that their intelligence could be compared to that of a toddler and nothing further.

  • Rachel

    This study is very interesting! However I think this conclusion could have already been assumed. They picked a monkey that has the greediest attitude and only cares about eating or sex. So if someone like that wants a snack but ran out of coins? Sex for money is perfect because it involves both things they love. They never mentioned the sex which would have been interesting. You can’t assume it was a female “prostitute” it could have easily been the other way around or 2 males.

  • I hate how these studies always seem to take the piss out of Second Life :)

  • bob

    were their any monkeys handing out lyndon larouche pamphlets? I’m guessing no.

  • It took them a few months to create the concept of and to attempt theft, con jobs, and prostitution. We humans only created the banking industry maybe four thousand years ago. Those monkeys better not figure out packaged mortgage-backed securities or we are all screwed.

  • donqpublic

    Well, maybe Gloria Steinem was right: marriage is just whoring on the installment plan and it’s time move beyond such a petty grasping nature. Maybe those monkeys will evolve, develop language and central banks, call their females hos and trophy wives, and then liberate themselves into beatniks and hippies and leave marriage to gay monkeys and fools.

  • Hanii Puppy

    *Hundred. The Knight’s Templar are renowned as being the first bank.

  • Paul

    That’s obviously a lie.

  • apeman2502


  • frostymarvelous

    So being raised by Muslim is now a “nice upbringing”? Don’t bother, I know the meaning of sarcasm.

  • BB

    Hooker monkeys. SMH

  • Jon Mendoza

    Couldn’t help but point out that the first monkey became a prostitute during the Bush Administration, maybe that’s a sign of how bad the economy was at the time.

  • Jon Mendoza

    Wow, stated just like Jesus said in the New Testament. /s

  • Tina Marie Tomashiro

    Technically, the only monkey that was working was the prostitute monkey. She as well as the rest were slaves, prisoners, guinea pigs, held against their will and deprived food in the name of progressive science. The prostitute monkey was also a victim of circumstance, trying to make something out of nothing using the only means she could. She got paid, but was still a slave, with no free will or freedom.

  • Steven

    “Technically, the only monkey that was working was the prostitute monkey.”

    That is actually a great observation. There are quite a few other experiments they could do to expand this line of inquiry. A lever that is easy to push down, but they have to push it 20 times to get a coin … versus a lever that is hard to push down, but they only have to do it once. Incidentally, this version also allows the monkeys to generate currency whenever they want, so it could create hording behavior. Or “paying” specific monkeys higher or lower “wages” to see how they react to each other. Generally speaking, prostitution only happens when there is an excess of wealth (whether money or resources) in a society. In the case of this experiment it was a tray of coins being stolen and causing chaos. There are many variations I would love to see the results from.

  • Trust me, I’m the Doctor

    I suspect that the salient point of this research was to observe how the use of money corrupts those who use it, whether they be higher primates or lower.

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  • Greg Williams

    Hopefully this exposes for people that it actually is money itself that is our biggest problem…

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  • Rami GB

    1. The link does not direct to the study.
    2. Where exactly in the original study -which could be found using google- is it mentioned that a monkey traded a sexual service for money?

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  • Guest

    Yet another blunt example of how some (thankfully not all) guys really need to cut down women. What’s even more telling is the number of thumbs up you got for likening your wife to monkeys. If your wife is* like a monkey, why did you marry her? If you see your wife like a monkey, why did she marry you?

  • Ben Franklin

    You are right, being taught to worship a rapist, slave trader, pedophile and murderer is not a nice upbringing at all. Mohammed was the sort of person who had a poet beheaded for mocking him and who sold the wives and daughters of his vanquished foes into slavery or allowed them to be made into sex slaves by his soldiers. There is no act so vile that Mohammed did not engage in it to spread his “religion” and his followers are still at war with civilization today.

    You don’t get to feel morally superior for making excuses for such a creed. Quite the opposite.