Sample PsycINFO® Records

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Unique Identifier



Cooperatively breeding cottontop tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) do not donate rewards to their long-term mates.

Publication Date

Aug 2009

Publication History

Accepted: Dec 16, 2008


Revised: Dec 9, 2008


First Submitted: Jun 27, 2008




Cronin, Katherine A.; Schroeder, Kori K. E.; Rothwell, Emily S.; Silk, Joan B.; Snowdon, Charles T.


Cronin, Katherine A.:

Correspondence Address

Katherine A. Cronin, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI, US, 53706,


Cronin, Katherine A. Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, US


Schroeder, Kori K. E. Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, US


Rothwell, Emily S. Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, US


Silk, Joan B. Department of Anthropology, University of California,, Los Angeles, CA, US


Snowdon, Charles T. Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, US


Journal of Comparative Psychology. Vol 123(3), Aug 2009, 231-241.


0735-7036 (Print); 1939-2087 (Electronic)

Other Serial Titles

Journal of Animal Behavior


Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology




US: American Psychological Association

Other Publishers

Henry Holt and Company, Inc., US


Williams & Wilkins Company, US

Format Availability

Electronic; Print

Format Covered


Publication Type

Journal; Peer Reviewed Journal

Document Type

Journal Article


This study tested the hypothesis that cooperative breeding facilitates the emergence of prosocial behavior by presenting cottontop tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) with the option to provide food rewards to pair-bonded mates. In Experiment 1, tamarins could provide rewards to mates at no additional cost while obtaining rewards for themselves. Contrary to the hypothesis, tamarins did not demonstrate a preference to donate rewards, behaving similar to chimpanzees in previous studies. In Experiment 2, the authors eliminated rewards for the donor for a stricter test of prosocial behavior, while reducing separation distress and food preoccupation. Again, the authors found no evidence for a donation preference. Furthermore, tamarins were significantly less likely to deliver rewards to mates when the mate displayed interest in the reward. The results of this study contrast with those recently reported for cooperatively breeding common marmosets, and indicate that prosocial preferences in a food donation task do not emerge in all cooperative breeders. In previous studies, cottontop tamarins have cooperated and reciprocated to obtain food rewards; the current findings sharpen understanding of the boundaries of cottontop tamarins? food-provisioning behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

Digital Object Identifier



donation; prosocial behavior; cooperative breeding; cottontop tamarin; rewards

Index Terms

*Animal Breeding; *Animal Social Behavior; *Monkeys; *Prosocial Behavior; Rewards

Classification Codes

2440 Social & Instinctive Behavior

Population Group

Animal; Male; Female


Empirical Study; Quantitative Study

Auxiliary Materials

Other (Internet Available)

Grant Sponsorship

This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH029775, the University of Wisconsin Graduate School Research Committee, a Hilldale Professorship to Charles T. Snowdon, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to Katherine A. Cronin.

Copyright Holder

American Psychological Association
Year 2009

Release Date

20090817 (PsycARTICLES); 20090817 (PsycINFO)

Number of Cited References (Sample Only)

Number of Citations: 40, Number of Citations Displayed : 40

Boesch, C. (2002). Cooperative hunting roles among Tai chimpanzees. Human Nature, 13, 27-46.

Boysen, S. T., & Berntson, G. G. (1995). Responses to quantity: Perceptual versus cognitive mechanisms in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 21, 82-86.

Brauer, J., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Chimpanzees readily know what others can see in a competitive situation. Animal Cognition, 10, 439-448.

Bugnyar, T., & Huber, L. (1997). Push or pull: An experimental study on imitation in marmosets. Animal Behaviour, 54, 817-831. 


Elec. Collection