Economics Faculty Database
Arts & Sciences
Duke University

 HOME > Arts & Sciences > Economics > Faculty    Search Help Login pdf version printable version 

Publications [#266041] of Dan Ariely

Journal Articles

  1. Addessi, E; Mancini, A; Crescimbene, L; Ariely, D; Visalberghi, E, How to spend a token? Trade-offs between food variety and food preference in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)., Behavioural Processes, vol. 83 no. 3 (March, 2010), pp. 267-275 [20026196], [doi]
    (last updated on 2020/03/31)

    Humans and non-human animals often choose among different alternatives by seeking variety. Here we assessed whether variety-seeking, i.e. the tendency to look for diversity in services and goods, occurs in capuchin monkeys--South-American primates which--as humans--are omnivorous and susceptible to food monotony. Capuchins chose between a Variety-token, that allowed to select one among 10 different foods (one more-preferred and nine less-preferred) and a Monotony-token, that--upon exchange with the experimenter--either allowed to select one among 10 units of the same more-preferred food or gave access to one unit of the more-preferred food. To examine how food preference affects variety-seeking, in the B-condition we presented nine moderately preferred foods, whereas in the C-condition we presented nine low-preferred foods. Overall, capuchins preferred the Variety-token over the Monotony-token and often selected one of the less-preferred foods. These results suggest that variety-seeking is rooted in our evolutionary history, and that it satisfies the need of experiencing stimulation from the environment; at the ultimate level, variety-seeking may allow the organism to exploit novel foods and obtain a correct nutritional intake. Finally, variety-seeking could have contributed to the transition from barter to money in many human cultures.

Duke University * Arts & Sciences * Economics * Faculty * Research * Staff * Master's * Ph.D. * Reload * Login