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Flashcards in Animal Cognition Deck (10):

What is the historical background to animal cognition

Pre 19th Century - thought humans were the only rational creatures
Post 19th Century - Darwin, origin of species. humans descended from apes


What is comparative cognition

study of cognitive processes of all species and humans

behavioural adaptions that allow animal to choose a course of action based on their understanding of the situation and how to get to the goal


3 reasons to study animal cognition

1. understand more about humans by comparing to other species - similarities and differences

2. understand more about other species

3. make inferences about evolution


What are Tinbergen's 4 questions

- mechanism - why does behaviour occur
- development - how did behaviour develop

- function - how does it benefit individual's fitness
- phylogeny - why did behaviour evolve


What are the 2 approaches to comparing human and animal cognition

1. psychological
- lab orientated

2. biological
- behaviour in the wild


What is a disadvantage of the psychological approach to comparing human and animal cognition

prone to anthropomorphism - use occams razor


What is a disadvantage of the biological approach to comparing human and animal cognition

Lack of control of variables


What is the dichotomous framework for comparing human and animal cognition

Low level - animals
looks at automatic, procedural and conciousless responses and associative learning

High level - humans
looks at intentional, conscious and declarative responses


How is physical cognition measured

Spatial concept - how to get to food
Distinguishing concepts - which food is edible
Distinguising quantities - which food source has more food
Tool use - nut cracking behaviour, tube experiment


How is social cognition measured

Social Learning
Perspective Taking
Theory of Mind