103_2_full - PSYC 103 Winter 2010 Lecture 2(iii Why study...

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PSYC 103 Winter 2010 Lecture 2
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2 (iii) Why study animal intelligence? (1) Intellectual curiosity Animals play a prominent role in humans’ lives, it is natural to want to understand them more. Increasing our knowledge and understanding of the world around us enriches our own lives (3) Relevance to humans • Studying animals reveals shared (and unique) features of animal and human intelligence and behavior. Can use the “simpler” brains of animals as a model for the more “complicated” brain of humans. (2) Animal welfare • Understanding animal intelligence allows us to make better informed decisions about how best to care for animals when they are kept in captivity.
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California politicians need a psychology lesson By the 2012-2013 fiscal year, $15.4 billion will be spent on incarcerating Californians, as compared with $15.3 billion spent on educating them. 3
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4 Observing Behavior
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5 (v) Historical background (1) Romanes (1848- 1894) - Believed that evolution resulted in a progressive development of intelligence in animals - Collected evidence to support his claims. (2) Lloyd Morgan (1852-1936) - Urged the use of experiments - Concluded that animals learn by trial and error , not by reasoning - Examined how his dog learned to open a shut gate by lifting a latch with its head
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Morgan’s Canon: In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher psychical faculty, if it can be interpreted as the outcome of one which stands lower in the psychological scale. (Morgan,1894) Anthropomorphism: accounting for behavior by imputing humanlike characteristics such as conscious thought, beliefs, and will to other species Anthropocentrism : (in comparative psychology) Choosing problems to study with reference to, or is centered on, human psychology Historical Background 6
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