Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • They're really clever. They have these amazing cognitive abilities.

  • They're more like feathered apes.

  • This is Betty, she's a female raven. She's the biggest of the corvids.

  • And corvids in general are very, very intelligent birds.

  • They can creatively problem-solve.

  • So they can put together sequences or behaviours that they've learned

  • into a novel way to solve a problem.

  • You see she'll look at things, she'll cock her head,

  • and you can actually see her working it out.

  • What is it? Can I benefit anything from that?

  • The hard part is trying to stay one step in front of her.

  • So there's a classic military line that says improvise, adapt, overcome.

  • And that's a really positive way of thinking about anything.

  • It's about trial and error and the resilience to keep going.

  • New Caledonian crows create multi-step tools,

  • which are essentially tools that are strong and thick at one end

  • and thin and flexible at the other end.

  • And that means that they are able to put those tools easily into crevices

  • and extract food items.

  • Albert Einstein described compound interest

  • as the eighth wonder of the world.

  • Crows really understand compound interest.

  • So when they save that bit of food and bury it in the grass,

  • they know that over time maggots will come in

  • and, from the crow's perspective, they will have even more food.

  • It's found its food, it's saved its food,

  • and now it's buried it in the ground somewhere

  • where it gets compound interest on its investment.

  • She's burying food in the summer, you've got files, flies lay eggs,

  • maggots hatch out the eggs. So when she goes back to the food,

  • not only has she got the rotten bit of food she's cached anyway,

  • but she's doubled it in size by having all the maggots on it as well.

  • For a long time it was thought that delayed gratification

  • was something that was unique to humans and non-human great apes

  • and some primates,

  • but it has been found that corvids will delay gratification.

  • So they will deny themselves an immediate reward

  • in order to get a reward of a better quality in the future.

  • They form really long-term relationships,

  • and those relationships are themselves

  • an example of delayed gratification.

  • Crows have absolutely nailed delayed gratification.

  • There's a seminal book, called The Marshmallow Test, by Walter Mischel,

  • which studies young children and as they've grown up

  • and their ability to delay gratification,

  • their ability to look at a marshmallow and wait,

  • and if they wait long enough they will get two.

  • What that study showed is that those children were able, later on in life,

  • to be better at managing money, better at managing relationships,

  • healthier, more likely to do exercise, more likely to eat well.

  • So delayed gratification is the key

  • to putting off those short-term gains for long-term benefits.

  • No. No.

They're really clever. They have these amazing cognitive abilities.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it

B2 gratification compound interest delayed compound marshmallow interest

What crows can teach us about getting ahead | BBC Ideas

  • 0 0
    Summer posted on 2022/03/08
Video vocabulary