Audience versions of this page: Student
This video was filmed on January 8th, 2012 as part of the National Geographic Live! lecture series at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Nobel Laureate Roger Myerson and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jill Pruetz discuss insights into how humans and chimps share information, resolve conflicts, and build social groups. Pruetz's study of chimpanzees was the first to report that chimps, our closest animal relatives, seek shelter in caves for environmental reasons. Myerson was recognized in 2007 alongside Leonid Hurwicz and Eric Maskin for his contributions to mechanism design theory.
Leading the discussion is Boyd Matson, host of National Geographic Weekend.
- Boyd Matson: program introduction (start-2:20 min.)
- Roger Myerson: introduction to game theory and decision making (2:21-4:52 min.)
- Jill Pruetz: introduction to chimpanzee society and behavior (4:53-7:16 min.)
- Social cooperation among chimpanzees (7:17-9:38 min.)
- Differences in "ownership" between humans and chimpanzees (9:39-13:25 min.)
- The role monogamy has played in successful societies (13:26-14:55 min.)
- Do chimpanzees feel a sense of debt or obligation to one another? (14:56-16:11 min.)
- Generational turn-over: how culture evolves in primate society (16:12-18:14 min.)
- Chimpanzees and personal comfort (18:15-18:43 min.)
- Similar chimpanzee behaviors have very different meanings in different chimpanzee societies (18:44-19:35 min.)
- Comparing decision making in humans and chimpanzees: how to build better societies (19:36-23:24 min.)
Strategies for Using Video in a Variety of Learning Environments
- Have students preview several of the videos and choose the one they find most inspiring. Have students describe in writing a conversation they might have with the speaker(s).
- Freeze the video on a relevant image. Have students observe details in the still image and jot down predictions of what the full video might address. Discuss students’ ideas before and after watching the video.
- Pose an open-ended question before students watch the video, and have them discuss their ideas before and after in small groups.
- Have students determine what they think the key message of this video is. Was the speaker effective in getting his or her message across?
- Show a short clip to engage students during class, and then have students watch the full video at home and write a paragraph responding to the content or a question you give them.
- Have students note statements that represent facts or opinions, including where it’s difficult to tell the difference. What further research might help distinguish facts vs. opinions? How might the speaker’s viewpoint compare with others’ viewpoints about a topic?
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry behavior Noun
anything an organism does involving action or response to stimulation.
large, intelligent ape native to Africa.
Emerging Explorer Noun
an adventurer, scientist, innovator, or storyteller recognized by National Geographic for their visionary work while still early in their careers.
field work Noun
scientific studies done outside of a lab, classroom, or office.
Encyclopedic Entry: field work Nobel Prize Noun
one of five awards established by the Swedish businessman Alfred Nobel in 1901. Nobel Prizes are awarded in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace.
large community, linked through similarities or relationships.