April 4, 2005
Researchers to Study Apes, Forgiveness
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- An international team of researchers will study social interaction at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa this spring to learn more about human forgiveness and the process of culture, officials with the research center said.
Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, lead scientist, said the four-month project studying bonobos will be funded by a $125,000 grant from the Richmond, Va.-based Campaign for Forgiveness Research.
Savage-Rumbaugh said many people believe forgiveness is a concept which only applies to humans. The research center's hypothesis is that it is not a process of species, and that like other social behaviors, "forgiveness is a set of patterned interactions that can be imparted to a group by how its newest members are treated," according to a news release.
Taking part in the program will be bonobos that will arrive at the Great Ape Trust this spring from the Language Research Center at Georgia State University.
The forgiveness research program is expected to be completed in late summer.