What makes humans special? What makes us different from animals?
“Are You Smarter Than A Chimpanzee?” is Ben Ambridge’s entertaining, illuminating new book that has a surprising answer. Really, we’re all just animals. But all animals – us included – are pretty special. Are You Smarter Than a Chimpanzee? is a collection of ingenious tests, puzzles, quizzes and games that pits the reader against a range of extraordinary creatures to show that the animal kingdom is more than a match for anything mankind has to offer.
“An Expensive Cappuccino” is just one of the puzzles that Ambridge gives readers to ponder over;
“What better place could there be to snuggle up with this book and begin your journey through the animal kingdom than in a cosy coffee house? But, oh no, you’re in an unfamiliar town, which has somehow managed to resist the onslaught of the big chains. You’re going to have to take your chances with an independent. And, what luck, here are three, right on the same street! They are all pretty interchangeable in terms of their décor and ambience, so all you have to go on is the price of your cappuccino: £0.80 (Coffee House A), £1.80 in (Coffee House B), £2.80 (Coffee House C) – So, which do you pick?”
Probably not the cheapest, right? In fact, when placed in scenarios of this type, most people – provided they can afford it – go for the most expensive option because we just can’t shake the feeling that it is some- how worse. Capuchins are perfectly capable of learning that one product is cheaper than another, however, unlike humans they just don’t consider the more expensive one to be in any way better.
In his book, Ambridge also debunks a plethora of common myths about animals and reveals the bizarre and wonderful science being done at the extreme end of zoology, where animal psychologists are designing personality tests for donkeys and logic problems for pigeons.
Professor Ben Ambridge is currently working at the University of Liverpool, dedicating most of his research to investigating child language acquisition. Specifically, he is interested in children’s overgeneralisation errors and errors in question formation.
For more information about his books and research click here.
Also, for a chance to win a copy of his new book visit our PsychLiverpool competition page here.