First Signs of Washoe, The
- 1975 ----- color ----- 57 min ----- 16mm
Two comparative psychologists, Alan and Trixie Gardner, took Washoe, a baby chimpanzee, into their home to raise as their own child. They began to teach her American Sign Language the way deaf parents would teach their child. By the time she was five, Washoe had a vocabulary of 130 signs. She could name objects, express need and desires, even express such abstract ideas as smart, funny or depressed. Man has long prided himself on being the only creature capable of free and independent thought, but it seems that chimps, given the vocabulary, are capable of expressing their own ideas. Man no longer finds himself unique and much work will have to be done before we know the limits of chimpanzee intelligence.
- Topics: (Anthropology: Biological, Primates, Psychology: Bio-Behavioral)