In this sense, research must show how the animal is “stupid,” rather than show how the animal is “smart.” Showing a person real depth and measuring the fact that they know real depth gives us no knowledge. The only explanation available is the postulation of an inner process. If you show that the subject is stupid (i.e., sees depth in a two-dimensional picture), then you have discovered the cause. This is the meaning of the quip “stupid animals prove researchers smart, smart animals prove researchers stupid.” A modulating influence is a factor which can alter the occurrence of a behavior but which does not necessarily "cause" that behavior to occur. While hitting oneself on the thumb with a hammer may be seen as the cause for screaming out; the words selected to articulate the exact nature of your feelings are modulated by the people near you. A previously well-
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.