Gardner & Gardner- Conclusions and Alternative Evidence


Gardner & Gardner- Conclusions

-It is possible to teach a chimpanzee basic human communication in the form of ASL

-It was difficult so say whether Washoe has acquired language as it went against the spirit of their research

-Washoe's ability to transfer signs suggested that more could be accomplished with further phases of this project ie.testing Washoe more reliably and using other chimpanzees- the Gardners did both of these in later work. 

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Gardner & Gardner- Alternative Evidence

Supported- Premack
1) Sarah could string together 130 words eg.Sarah give apple Mary, using coloured shapes
2) Supports- both use human words to communicate. Washoe learned 250 words& could string
3) G higher validity as ASL is a real language used by humans whereas using shapes isn't 

Challenged- Terrace (1979)
1) Trained Nim Chimpsky with ASL and argued they weren't using human language
2) Challenged through close analysis of films. Were just imiatating trainers, not language
3) Not possible to compare chimps with such wide individual differences

Challenged- Noam Chomsky (1957)
1) Only humans can use lang as they have a LAD. W can't use sentences, lang, grammer/ASL eg Washoe tickle= Tickle Washoe
2) Challenges as G claimed chimps can use lang, suggests conclusions were 'wishful thinking'
3) G high on validity as carried out research on a real chimp. N just a theory. 

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