Intelligence in non human animals

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Psychology unit 3 intelligence revision
Intelligence in non human animals
Description- theory of mind
Theory of mind is believed to be a higher order of intelligence. It is the ability to
understand that different individuals have different amounts of knowledge,
interests, intentions and beliefs to themselves.
Description- self recognition
In order to recognise yourself you need a self concept which is understanding
where you stop and the rest of the world begins. Self recognition can be tested by
using mirrors. You need a self concept in order in order for theory of mind to
develop although a self concept is no guarantee that you develop a theory of mind
and so if animals can recognise themselves in the mirror they have the potential
for intelligence.
Evidence- a mark test was conducted on several animals including a range of apes,
elephants and pigeons. These tests involves ethicising the animal and putting a non
odorous, non irritant paint on their face and then wait for the animal to wake up.
They then count how many times the animal touches it. They then see how many
times the animal touches it when they can see themselves in a mirror. If the
number of touches is greater with the mirror than without a mirror then the animal
has self concept and the ability for self recognition. Chimps, bonobos, gorillas and
orang-utans all pass the mark test.
Epstein found that pigeons also passed the mark test when he replicated the
study by using tin foil instead of paint for pigeons. However others haven't been
able to replicate the study so results are unreliable. Also it doesn't make sense
from an evolutionary point of view bas other birds don't have the theory of mind
so it could be that the birds were trained to touch the tin foil so they don't react
this way due to having a self concept. The fact that the mark test has issues here
suggests it may not be a valid measure of self concept.
Heyes anaesthetic hypothesis states that the reason animals reacted to the paint
is because of the effect of a general anaesthetic as they could just be more alert
when they see the mirror later on rather than being self aware. However, this
was disproved when a longer mark test was conducted which involves animals being
knocked out and then after a few days they were given a mirror. This found the
same results so the original findings are valid.

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Psychology unit 3 intelligence revision
Autistic children don't have theory of mind but do have self recognition as they
recognise themselves in the mirror. This shows that self recognition can't always
prove that animals have a theory of mind.
Description- imitation (social learning)
An animal observes a role model and develops a mental representation of the
behaviour being either good or bad and they also understand the reasons for why
that animal is doing that behaviour.…read more

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Psychology unit 3 intelligence revision
Whiten and Byrne reviews 250 observations of deception in non human animals
such as a young baboon who watched a adult dig up a root and after looking
around, screamed loudly. They young baboon's mother who was dominant in the
group chased the other adult away. The young baboon picked up the root and ate
it. The young baboon's scream appears to be used to mislead the mother and
provoke an attack.…read more


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