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A History of Modern Psychology 11th Edition

A History of Modern Psychology (11th Edition)

Book Edition11th Edition
Author(s)Schultz, Schultz
Chapter 2, End of Chapter, Review Questions, Exercise 1
Page 43

Why was the defecating duck such a sensation in Paris in 1739? What did it have to do with the development of the new psychology?

Here is a tip:

The defecating duck became popular because of its functioning, and it brought a new perspective in the field of psychology.


The defecating duck was a complex machine, which was made in Country P in the eighteenth century. Until that time, machines were a part of activities of amusement. This particular machine caught everyone's attention because it was similar to a living thing. It was made to function exactly like a living bird, and it carried out activities like eating, digesting, and defecating. This experiment was carried out to judge how successfully machines could replicate living things in most activities.


This event is significant in modern psychology because it strived to establish that machines could replicate human functions. This also led to advanced researches in human anatomy, including that of the brain or the nerves. Theorists also came to understand that the arrival of machines would change the functioning of humankind. 

Verified Answer

The defecating duck became popular in the eighteenth century. This mechanical robot was the epitome of self-moving machines in those times. It carried out bird-like activities such as eating and defecating. It displayed the concept of automata, which caught the attention of people in those times and led to the studies about human bodies in psychology.

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