#13: The Ape and the Child
Listed in chronological order. Newest comments at the end.
History contains numerous accounts of children raised by animals. The children in such cases often continue to act more animal than human, even when returned to human society. The psychologist Winthrop Kellogg wondered what would happen if the situation were reversed. What if an animal were raised by humans as a human. Would it eventually act like a human?
To answer this question, in 1931 Kellogg brought a seven-month-old female chimpanzee named Gua into his home. He and his wife then proceeded to raise her as if she were human, treating her exactly the same as they treated their ten-month-old son Donald.
Donald and Gua played together. They were fed together. And the Kelloggs subjected them both to regular tests to track their development. One such test was the suspended cookie test, in which the Kelloggs timed how long it took their children to reach a cookie suspended by a string in the middle of the room.
Gua regularly performed better on such tests than Donald, but in terms of language acquisition she was a disappointment. Despite the Kelloggs's repeated efforts, the ability to speak eluded her. Disturbingly, it also seemed to be eluding Donald. Nine months into the experiment, his language skills weren't much better than Gua's. When he one day indicated he was hungry by imitating Gua's "food bark," the Kelloggs decided the experiment had gone far enough. Donald evidently needed some playmates of his own species. So on March 28, 1932 they shipped Gua back to the primate center. She was never heard from again.
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"She was never heard from again"
Posted by sam on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 07:11 AM
So much for desegregation.
Posted by Ugly American in USA on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 03:53 PM
Noo! They should have continued the experiment!!
Now I'll never know what happens. :(
Posted by Adrian Kent on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 01:28 AM
There's more on the experiment, including photos and Quicktime video clips, here: http://www.psy.fsu.edu/history/wnk/ape.html
Posted by MadMolecule in Memphis on Tue Sep 11, 2007 at 01:17 AM
Wouldnt shipping Gua back to the primate center be extremely cruel to both (children). Imagine poor Donald wondering what has happened to his sister.
Posted by Clark in US on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 11:26 PM
I find the ending very cruel!
This little ape was raised as a human for a significant period in her life and in the end, they just send it off. Imagine the emotional effects on poor little Gua! I bet they'd be quite similar to how little Donald would feel if he was sent away instead.
Ah, I sense a fresh experiment!
Posted by Static on Sun Sep 16, 2007 at 09:14 AM
So was the character Gau from the video game Final Fantasy VI named after the ape in this experiment?
Posted by MetricTrout on Sun Sep 16, 2007 at 02:01 PM
Gua smelled bad anyways.
Posted by Donald in USA on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:16 PM
Actually, I escaped from the monkey center a year later only to find myself in a different researchers laboratory where he continued my upbringing and education, thus producing the intellect to allow me to search you down again Donald. Please send me your address Donald so we may yet again meet as brother and sister.
Posted by Gua in Monkey Center, Vietnam on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 06:09 PM
That is what is wrong with the US School system. Low IQ blacks are officially promoted as somehow 'equal' and forced into schools with whites and Asians, who substantially outperform them.
When enough blacks get into a school, it drags the entire system down into the sewer.
This is why the US can never have a first class education system. To have a merit based system where the smart kids go to better schools than the meatheads would effectively re-segregate American schools with blacks going to schools beset with all of the problems of black Africa, and white and Asian kids actually getting a decent education.
Posted by Santiago Matamoros in Singapore, Singapore on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 01:40 PM
Dis be me, Gua. Y'all no dat I din't wanna be wit dem honky whiteycrackas, so I was like jus' keepin' it real y'all.
Now I got me some hos and a ten and me and my posse be rulin' da hood.
Gua Shaquain Kellogg
Posted by Gua Shaquain Kellogg in Compton, California on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 01:44 PM
Listen up. Black jokes? Because the monkey...that the white people decided to up and raise....proved to be more intelligent than their kid?
Get with the decade people. This is not 1957 - grow up.
Posted by Irritated Black Person in Da Hood on Fri Oct 26, 2007 at 06:39 PM
You all who insist on degrading African Americans and perpetuating hate and ignorance are cowards. I am black; I am proud and clearly more intelligent than you. You hide behind the convenient ambiguity of the internet and I bet maintain the facade of tolerance and understanding in everyday society. I dare you to be true to yourself and your bigotry and reveal yourself openly. I not naive enough to think you will suddenly gain the capacity to expand your infantile mentality, but at least those around will be aware of your prejudice. You and those who condone you views are the vermin of this country. Come out from your craven holes in the wall and face your extermination.
Your elementary analysis of the flaws of the US school system highlights your limited mental capabilities. I highly doubt you have the cognitive prowess to digest the real issues of the US school system. Therefore, I won
Posted by M. Lofton on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 10:32 PM
'Therefore, I won
Posted by Henry in the ruins of Europa on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 07:50 AM
Apparently, you are one of the dense individuals I
Posted by M. Lofton on Sun Nov 11, 2007 at 10:06 PM
What's the name of that game where everyone in a line repeats a whispered statement, in turn? (The last person almost never is able to repeat the original statement because it has changed with each successive person's repeating.) Anyway, y'all have sorely gotten off-track.
How very cruel of an experiment! Rather than shipping Gua off to obscurity, the Kelloggs should have continued their commitment to the experiment and adjusted the behaviors, as needed, to get the best possible results for little Donald - and hopefully, for Gua, as well.
Posted by Terry in Holland, MI on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 01:09 PM
The Kelloggs seemed to do the right thing in my opinion. To continue that mad experiment would be to compromise their son's future. Although friendship and inclusiveness are important, the child's education is critical and if a scientist has determined that the experiment is hurting his child, it is a good idea to end it.
I still feel bad for Gua nonetheless. Good luck getting along with wild apes after a year or so raised as a child. Not even general captivity compares to what he went through.
Posted by Justin in St. Louis, Missouri on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 03:30 PM
reading through all of these insane experiments, makes me wonder that we still exist as a specie. somehow i think we will eventually press the wrong button and quietly exterminate ourselves....think that will be the best day on since since it exploded into existance. all these idiots going on about what category of human is more intelligent than the other one...shows exactly the inferior mental quality of humanity as a whole
Posted by d on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 07:46 AM
Well, I am very discouraged currently, which always happens when I notice a fellow human being ruled by ignorance and a closed mind.
Listen person, using a story about an experiment involving a chimp as a platform for your racist ideas of what is right for the USA and it's educational system is not only in poor taste and just plain dumb, but it is a waste of everyone's time...I am actually wasting time on you right now, and that is probably what you want. What I want is to change your mind and heart...I know, I am pretty sure I can't do that, you may have gone to a "bad" school (that's what I have my money on) or you may have been raised by racist parents (another popular choice), and since I can't change you, I will just ask you to save those thoughts for a better venue and stop making me feel like We, as human beings, are still so far away from overcoming age old ignorances, if it is even possible...it's depresses the stuffin out of me.
Sorry everyone, this is a really interesting experiment, I wonder if Dr. Kellogg took them both to the park to play and interact with other kids or if it was always just the Donald and Gua alone. With all the time they spent together, I could see them sharing some similar traits and think the Kelloggs may have overreacted, but I can't really blame them. My thoughts are that if there were more children around the two, Donald would have been less likely to start barking for food. And, they should have tried to raise Gua to use sign language. I think this would be a cool experiment to try again, but if you try it with a human baby as well, it should be with a baby that you won't mind throwing it's poo around every once in a while.
Posted by Chad in Georgia on Sun May 04, 2008 at 07:24 PM
One more story about heartless people, who used to take everything and everyone without the thoughts about those "others".
Just imagine this cruel doctor "psychologist", who even from the psychological point of view had omitted all the damages those could happen with his son in such a situation. As far as a normal person should grow up and develop in human midst, but not in isolation with an animal ( beacause his father is experimenting:) )
As for poor Gua I can tell that people often forget the old truth: "We are responsible for those whom we had domesticated"...
Posted by Terry Brown in USA on Tue Jul 08, 2008 at 07:05 AM
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