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The Psychology of Animals

The Psychology of Animals

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Published by: breunisoos3321 on Aug 13, 2011
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 The Psychology of AnimalsOn the problems of studying animal behavior with limited humanparameters… Contrary to what many people believe, animals domanifest fascinating psychological traits. Thinking about accessibledata and also the reality that animal psychology is still in itsdeveloping phase, it could be premature to provide a blueprint for theanimal ‘mind’, even though many researchers have attempted to dothat and there has been some good results within the understandingof the animal mind via study of behavior and studying in animals.Obviously, behaviorists would think about it absolutely unnecessaryto talk of an animal ‘mind’ as based on them, learning and responsesin animals might be explained completely with behavioral changesand association of different stimuli. Numerous psychologists thinkanimals merely show instinctual responses and their behavior doesn’thave intentionality. This means that animals merely follow a stimulusresponse pattern and instinctively show a trial and error behavioralpattern of actions instead of utilizing their conscious mind to behavein a particular way. This is what Konrad Lorenz, a pioneeringethologist considered as ‘fixed action patterns’ or FAPs and it’sbelieved that a few FAPs are brought on by particular regular stimuliacross the animal kingdom. Clearly if the mind is to the brain as thesoul is to the body, the concept of mind itself could be problematicbut although we can’t deny the human mind, we can in a way explainanimal behavior without referring towards the mind directly. How far would this position be appropriate? In recent years animal mind hasturn out to be a topic of fantastic interest. Are animals able to thinkand really feel? Are animals intelligent? Can they apply insight tosolve particular issues? Anybody with a pet at home will respondpositively to these questions. Of course animals seem to comprehendour moods, they know what precisely is coming following possiblyhaving read our facial/bodily expressions, and in many cases animalsare able to solve problems, nearly with insight. If a caged bird is ableto move out of a cage on pressing a lever will that be regarded as aninsightful or trial and error behavior? Animals are not able to talk inour human language and we do not understand animal language sothere’s a gap in communication and this may be a main reason for which we're incapable of understanding whether or not animalshave ‘emotional experiences’ and use insight to solve issues or whether or not every thing to them is absolutely nothing but trail anderror. The issue with us humans is that we judge other animals withour only tool – language. We talk about emotions, insight and feelingsin a particular way and it is impossible to gauge animal mind unlesswe also comprehend animal language and although we comprehendsome animal gestures, we can’t probe deep into the mind of other species. But just because we are limited in our understanding andunderstanding of animals, it'll be too dismissive and unwise toconsider that animals only use trial and error techniques to respond
 
towards the globe. It is obviously largely accepted across biology andpsychology that in Darwinian terms, the human brain becomingprobably the most evolved is capable of much more complicatedemotional patterns, insights, expectations etc than the lower animalsand also the much more evolved brain would also naturally imply ahigher capability for complicated mental functions. Other animals areonly capable of mental functions that need lesser brain capabilities.There is a famous study by David and Ann Premack who suggestedthat it’s feasible to teach human language to nonhuman apes. Theyworked with chimpanzees along with a well-known bonobo Kanzi tosuggest that certain animals may also understand human languageand can also spontaneously produce and recognize words. Somelanguage studying has also been observed in birds like parrots butalthough parrots show rote studying by trial and error, chimpanzeesand bonobos may just show some rudimentary form of intelligentbehavior in their manipulation of language. Across the animalkingdom we have come across many cases and examples, whenanimals sulk or get depressed when they shed a mate or a young 1, just like us humans. Animals also show very organized and complexmating behavior, highly developed learning behavior as well as their social life appear to be based on survival strategies. StudyingBehavior: Learning in animals has been primarily explained bybehaviorists who regarded as that animal studying might beexplained with the principles of conditioning or association. Thereforea dog learns to salivate when he sees his owner coming out of thekitchen with a specific plate simply because this is a pattern that hasbeen repeated over time and the dog has associated the owner andthe dish using the satisfaction of his hunger for food. But is it just areflexive behavior and is the dog completely devoid of actual insightconcerning the situation? Some comparative psychologists wouldthink that just like us, dogs also have emotions like happiness andexpectations of something and evolutionary psychologists willconsider the distinction as dependent on the brain. Social Behavior:Particular insects like bees show extremely complicated socialbehavior, even more complicated than a few of the greater animals.But from an evolutionary viewpoint the greater animals will have moremental capabilities than bees, then how do bees show suchcomplexity in behavioral social responses? Bees tend to havespecialized neurons for complex tasks even though it’s suggestedthat the require to survive develops complexity in social behavior incase of bees, ants along with other insects that prefer colonies or grouping and tend to have their very own rules to survive or steer clear of attacks from other animals. Mating behavior: Throughout theanimal kingdom, the mating behavior of animals is extremelycomplicated. From secreting pheromones to changing body colors,animals can resort to desperate indicates to attract a potential mate.Some animals are even known to die just to mate and just likehumans animals use their sensory cues through smell and sight toidentify and attract a mate. We humans also largely rely on our senseorgans to determine who we want as a mate yet we also use someinsight and understanding to lastly stabilize our mating process. In

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