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TEDTalk Shows What Happens When Two Monkey are Paid Unequally for the Same Work

11 SEP 2014

“Humanity is actually much more cooperative and empathic than given credit for”. Primatologist Franz de Waal showed us what happens when two monkeys are given unequal pay for the same work. As a long-time worker and researcher of monkeys, Waal wanted to see if primates could grasps the concept of unfairness. To do so, he put the two monkeys in separate test chambers. One monkey was given cucumber (the undesirable food) when he handed the scientist a rock, and the other was given grapes (the more desirable food) when he handed over the rock. At 14:00 minutes you will see how the monkey who receives the cucumber reacts to the inequality. Waal performed this experiment as a way to prove that animals can recognize the concept of fairness, which many philosophers did not before believe was possible. Many have commented that this experiment presents itself as a reflection on human civilization in history, and still today. Equal pay in the workplace for all types of minorities continues to be a struggle. Perhaps this experiment can make us all stop and think: if monkeys can grasp the concept of fairness, why have we not?