Humphrey Reading: The Social Function of Intellect Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Humphrey Reading: The Social Function of Intellect Deck (44):

How does nature interact with her "production lines", according to Humphrey (1976)?

superfluous capacity is trimmed back, new capacity added only as and when it is needed


What was Heim's (1970) broad definition of intelligence?

the ability to grasp the essentials of a situation and respond appropriately


Why does Humphrey (1976) call Heim's (1970) definition of intelligence circular?

when intelligence is defined as the ability to do this or that, who dares question the biological advantage of being able?


Humphrey says an animal displays intelligence when what?

he modifies his behaviour on the basis of valid inference from evidence


According to Humphrey, whee does the main role of creative intellect lie?

practical invention


What fault does he have with the original cognitive tests performed on primates?

even in the species which have the most advanced technologies the exams are largely tests of knowledge rather than imaginative reasoning => answers arrived through trial and error


What does Humphrey suggest about subsistence technology?

rather than requiring intelligence, may actually be a substitute for it


How did Humphrey compare Einstein to chimpanzees?

Einstein displayed his genius at rare times in 'artificial' situations--he did not use it, for he did not need to use it, in the common world of practical affairs


Humphrey argues that the life of the great apes and man may not require much in the way of practical invention but rather...

critically on the possession of wide factual knowledge of practical technique and the nature of habitat


In what context can factual knowledge of practical technique and the naure of the habitat be acquired?

-only in the context of a social community: a community in which provides both a medium for the cultural transmission of information and a protective environment in which individual learning can occur


Humphrey says a cage is a ____ place to keep a monkey



What did Humphrey's study with Helen show about the impact of environment?

with proper environmental stimulation (being released from her cage) her vision improved and had almost perfect spatial vision even after having her visual cortex surgically removed


Why were monkeys placed in cages together able to still grow their intellect despite having no objects to explore?

had each other to manipulate and explore (social interaction)


The life of social animals is highly _______



Where are benefits to be gained from each individual member in a complex society?

1. preserving the overall structure of the group
2. exploiting and out manouevering others within it


Why does Humphrey call social primates calculating being?

need to be able to calculate the consequences of their own behavior, calculate likely behaviour of others, calculate the balance of advantage and loss--also based in context where the evidence is ephemeral, ambiguous, and liable to change


Like chess, a social interaction is typically a ______ between social partners



What does Humphrey say is the chief role of intellect?

hold society together


How does the social system serve its purpose of acting as a 'polytechnic school' for the teaching of subsistence technology?

1. allowing a period of prolonged dependence during which young animals, spared the need to fend for themselves are free to experiment and explore
2. bringing the youth into contact with older, more experienced members of the community from whom they can learn by imitation


the presence of dependents in a society calls for what?

measure of tolerance and unselfish sharing


the greater the number of generations the more _____ the picture becomes



Why does a complex society cause new internal pressures to arise?

animal's intellectual adversaries are members of his own breeding community


If an animal spends all morning in non productive socializing, then ....

he must be at least twice as efficient as a producer in the afternoon


How is the selfishness of animals tempered?

sympathy: tendency on the part of one social partner to identify himself with the other and so to make the other's goals to some extent his own


Men expect to argue with problems rather than what?

being limited to arguing about them


What must man take into consideration when approaching a social problem?

the situation confronting him is unlikely to be stable


What is an example of humans treating inanimate entities as people? (and by doing so, sure to make mistakes)

people commonly attempt to bargain with nature, through prayer, through sacrifice or ritual persuasion


What does Humphrey compare to conversations between a mother and child, suggesting that these things have a close, structural similarity?

speak of a conversation between a gardener and his roses or a farmer and his corn


Humphrey says transactions are what?

something which people seek out actively and will force on nature whenever they are able


What is Humphrey's hypothesis?

there is a positive correlation across species between 'social complexity' and 'individual intelligence'


What is blocking the ability to test Humphrey's hypothesis?

do not have agreed definitions or agreed ways of measure social complexity or individual intelligence


what does Humphrey say we need to test his hypothesis?

a laboratory test of social skill--a test which ought, if I am right, to double as a test of 'high-level intelligence'


What could be the social partner Humphrey says we can use to test his hypothesis?

a kind of 'social-robot' that is programmed online from a computer to behave in a pseudo social way


What does Humphrey like about his definition of intelligence?

embraces everything from simple associative learning to syllogistic reasoning


What does Humphrey mean when he says 'practical invention'?

invention is used broadly to mean acts of intelligent discovery by which an animal comes up with new ways of doing things


What problem does Humphrey have with the intelligence tests being used in most species?

test of knowledge rather than imaginiaitve reasoning


What does Humphrey mean when he discusses the "affluent savage" ?

man and gorillas lead simple existences: eat, sleep and play

affluent savage seems to have established a modus vivendi in which he could afford to be not only physically but intellectually lazy


Once a society has reached a certain level of complexity, then what?

new internal pressures must arise which act to increase its complexity still further


Who are an animal's intellectual adversaries?

members of his own breeding community
-any trait which increases the ability to outwit his fellows will soon spread through the gene pool


What is the savage mind according to Humphrey?

highly rational structures of kinship, totemism, myth and religion with characteristic primitive societies


What must a man know when going out to solve a social problem?

1. know that the situation is unlikely to remain stable
2. development will have a certain logic to it


While there have been many discussion of how people out to think, there has not been many discussion of how people ______ think



What is Humphrey's central thesis?

there should be a positive correlation between social complexity and individual intelligence


What is Humphrey's concluding argument?

the higher intellectual faculties of primates have evolved as an adaptation to the complexities of social living