Savage Rumbaugh

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Outline one piece of previous research.
WASHOE, Gardner & Gardner, 1969. Female chimp, aged approx 1 yr. Using ASL, learned 30 signs over 22 month period; over 100 by 4 yrs. Showed some creativity and no structure dependence. First words were come,hurry,sweet,tickle.
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What year was this study conducted?
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To study the language acquisition of two bonobo chimps and draw conclusions with that of two common chimps who had been previously studied.
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IV and DV?
IV=species of chimpanzee DV=respective language acquisition
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Design = longitudinal case study, data gathered over 10-year span, study reports on a 17-month period. Observation. Partly quasi as IV occurs naturally.
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2 Pygmy Chimpanzees called Kanzi (male aged 30-47 months) and Mulika (female aged 11-21 months, Kanzi's sister). 2 previously studied common chimps called Austin (male aged 1.5yrs) and Sherman (male aged 2.5yrs)
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Describe Kanzi's outside envrionment
55 acres of forest with 17 food locations, each for a specific food type which Kanzi learnt. Data collected by observers making notes on how Kanzi used the laminated lexigram.
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Describe the apparatus used
Lexigram board-made up of 256 symbols used to stand for words, however each symbol did not look like what it stood for so there were no cues. The symbols lit up when touched. Inside, linked to computer and speech synthesiser. Outside=laminate
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How did they learn?
Kanzi was exposed to lexigram through watching his mother,Mutata, and the keepers; no one trained Kanzi directly. Mulika learnt through observing Kanzi.
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Similarities and differences between K&M's and A&S's exposure
K&M used the same lexigram system as A&S, however they were not taught to use it like A&S were. A&S's lexigrams did not have speech synthesisers and they did not use the lexigrams outdoors.
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What data was collected?
All utterances were recorded. They were then classified as correct or incorrect, spontaneous, imitation and structured. They also recorded behavioural concordance.
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How was reliability established in the study?
A 4.5 hour block of real time observations were compared with the analysis of a video of the primates that was made at the same time. 100% agreement on the lexigrams used and their correctness. 1 disagreement on whether one utterance was spontaneous
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How were the chimps tested?
Blind test in forest, matching photo to lexigram symbol, matching photo to spoken english, matching lexigram symbol to spoken english.
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Outline the results
Greater use of specific & untutored gestures by Kanzi and Mulika. Symbol acquisition: K=46 M=37. K able to do blind test. 80% of K's utterances spontaneous, use of combinations (2500+ correct).
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What was the conclusion of the study?
Pygmy chimps appear to be able to learn and use language more like a human child, in comparison with common chimps.
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Strengths of study
Longitudinal=in-depth data & shows development over time. Data gathered in high control, reduce bias and subjectivity. EV = 55 acres, allowed to roam, which is more natural.
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Weaknesses of study
Problems with ethics. Differences in rearing between K&M and A&S makes hard to make comparisons.
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