Dolphin Cognition and Behavior: A Comparative Approach

By Ronald J. Schusterman; Jeanette A. Thomas et al. | Go to book overview

many, and not particularly accessible to research. However, reinforcement training brings this particular window into the house of science. As the philosopher Gergory Bateson said, "Operant conditioning is a method of communication with an alien species" ( Pryor, 1975). It is not merely a way of communicating our wishes to an animal, but a two-way system. It is, in fact, a game, rigorous in rules but admitting of spontaneity. We should not be misled by the effects of this sytem into thinking that dolphins are somehow more "intelligent" than they are, nor that all other animals are necessarily less. Instead we should perhaps give more serious attention to the possibilities of the training context as an investigative tool in the study of animal awareness and cognition.


REFERENCES

Defran R. H., & Pryor K. ( 1980). "Social behavior and training of eleven species of cetaceans in captivity". L. Herman (Ed.), In Cetacean behavior: Mechanisms and functions. New York: Wiley-Interscience.

Francis D. ( 1979). Whip hand. New York: Harper & Row.

Lorenz K. ( 1975). "Foreword". In K. Pryor Lads before the wind: Adventures in porpoise training. New York: Harper & Row.

Pryor K. W. ( 1974). "Learning and behavior in whales and porpoises". Naturwissenschaften, 60, 137-143.

Pryor K. W. ( 1975). Lads before the wind: Adventures in porpoise training. New York: Harper & Row.

Pryor K. W. ( 1981a). "The rhino likes violets". Psychology Today, April, 92-98.

Pryor K. W. ( 1981b). "Why porpoise trainers are not dolphin lovers: Real and false communication in the operant setting". Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 304, 137-143.

Pryor K. ( 1984). Don't shoot the dog! New York: Simon & Schuster.

Pryor K. W., Haag R., & O'Reilly J. ( 1969). "The creative porpoise: Training for novel behavior". The Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 12, 653-661.

Turner R. N. ( 1964). "Methodological problems in the study of behavior". In W. N. Tavolga (Ed.), Marine bio-acoustics. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Schusterman R. ( 1980). "Behavioral methodology in echolocation by marine mammals". In R. G. Busnel & J. F. Fish (Eds.), Animal sonar systems. New York: Plenum.

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