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Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

Experiment finds parrots think in economic terms

Sometimes, it pays to wait – for example when it comes to choosing between an immediate, but small, reward and a greater reward at a future date.  On occasion, both humans and animals have to forgo an immediate reward for a delayed benefit. Deciding whether the wait will be beneficial requires the capacity to control their immediate impulses and assess the expected final outcome. Parrots have clearly grasped this concept: true to the motto “better a bird in the hand than two in the bush”, they are capable of learning…