Intermission: Chimps, Humans, and the Trait of Kindness

There are many similarities between us and our closest animal relatives, but this one may surprise you.


Humans and chimpanzees share 96 percent of their genetic code, but perhaps our most remarkable similarity is a personality trait that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom: altruism.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute recently discovered that both human children and young chimpanzees will go out of their way to help someone in need. The human children seemed to take particular joy in lending assistance, leading researchers to believe that the predilection towards kindness has only grown as we evolved.