Savage-Rumbaugh

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  • Savage-Rumbaugh
    • Background
      • People had done studies on chimps previous to this - Washoe/Lana. But none as detailed as this one.
    • Aim
      • To study human language acquisition in pygmy chimpanzees.
    • Procedure
      • Longitudinal Quasi experiment.
      • Lexigrams were used as the main communication device. There was an electric one for lab use and a laminated one for use in the forest.
      • For the word to be included in Kanzi or Mulika's vocabulary, the symbol production had to appear to be appropriate and the word should occur spontaneously in 9 out of 10 occasions.
    • Evaluation
      • Improvement on other studies about language acquisition in primates.
      • High controlled experiment - less open to bias and subjectivity. Longitudinal study - development can be seen.
      • Quantitative data gained was more valid and reliable than anecdotal evidence from other studies.
      • Animals are vulnerable and unable to express desires. May have been harmed by drinking coke/watching TV.
      • The chimps may have shown behaviour of children developing language skills - associations made between words and symbols before speaking.
    • Results
      • Kanzi and Mulika could use the lexigram with ease and used them more spontsneously than Austin and Sherman.
      • Kanzi and Mulika could comprehend English words a lot more easily.
      • Kanzi and Mulika could use the lexigrams much more specifically.
      • Kanzi could refer to requests involving other people than himself.
    • Participants
      • 2 pygmy chimpanzees (Kanzi & Mulika)
      • Compared with 2 common chimpanzees (Austin & Sherman)
        • 2 pygmy chimpanzees (Kanzi & Mulika)
    • Conclusions
      • Pygmy chimpanzees show symbolic and auditory skills that are more advanced than those of common chimpanzees.

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