Animals have been studied for decades in an effort to better understand human behavior. Primates especially are able to provide valuable information about why we do what we do. A new study on monkeys is helping to explain the unrest that we are seeing not only in the United States but all around the globe.
Researchers decided to see what would happen if two monkeys were paid unequally for the same task. One monkey, monkey A for the sake of this discussion, was given a bit of cucumber when he completed his task. Another monkey, who we will call monkey B, was caged beside monkey A and in plain view, was paid in grapes. To monkeys, grapes have a higher value than cucumbers.
The first time Monkey A was given a piece of cucumber for completing his task, he was happy with his reward. But after he saw Monkey B get paid with a grape, he was not nearly as impressed as he was at first. As the experiment goes on, Monkey A gets more and more upset with the unfairness and the inequality.
The man in the video nails it when explaining the findings: While looking at Monkey A throwing his measly bit of cucumber back at the researcher, he says: “This is basically the Wall Street protests.”
Even these monkeys were able to realize that even though they were both doing the same work, one was getting much more out of it. Under these circumstances, it doesn’t take long before the monkey getting the short end of the stick gets fed up with the system. It really is no different with humans. At a certain point, you realize that the system is rigged and unfair. Anger and frustration follow this. There is no other option. Sometimes it may happen quickly, sometimes it may take years, but inevitably the eventual outcome is the same.
You can see the monkeys in action here:
Featured image via video screen capture