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Try monkey as your shopping partner

Try monkey as your shopping partner
Highlights

Monkeys are smarter than humans when it comes to shopping as they do not confuse the price tag of a good with its quality, an interesting study from Yale University shows.

Monkeys are smarter than humans when it comes to shopping as they do not confuse the price tag of a good with its quality, an interesting study from Yale University shows.

Senior Study author Laurie Santos, psychologist at Yale University and Rhia Catapano, former Yale undergraduate, designed a series of four experiments to test whether capuchin monkeys would prefer higher-priced but equivalent items.
They taught monkeys to make choices in an experimental market and to buy novel foods at different prices.
The results showed that monkeys understood the differences in price between the foods.
"But when we tested whether monkeys preferred the taste of the higher-priced goods, we were surprised to find that the monkeys did not show the same bias as humans," researchers observed.
"Our previous work has shown that monkeys are loss-averse, irrational when it comes to dealing with risk and even prone to rationalising their own decisions, just like humans," Santos said.
"But this is one of the first domains we have tested in which monkeys show more rational behaviour than humans do," he added.
Previous research showed that people think a wine labeled with an expensive price tag tastes better than the same wine labeled with a cheaper price tag.
In other studies, people thought a painkiller worked better when they paid a higher price for it.
The new study shows that monkeys do not buy that premise although they share other irrational behaviours with their human relatives.
For humans, higher price tags often signal that other people like a particular good.
"Our richer social experiences with markets might be the very thing that leads us - and not monkeys - astray in this case," Santos concluded.
The study appeared in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
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