Cognitive Ethology: The Minds of Other Animals: Essays in Honor of Donald R. Griffin

By Donald R. Griffin; Carolyn A. Ristau | Go to book overview

challenged folk theory than from those aspects that have sought to structure theories of mind on folk psychological notions.


CONCLUDING REMARKS

Cognitive science is no longer dominated by the behaviorism prevalent during the first half of this century, but neither has it embraced the intuitive notions about mental states inherent in folk psychology. Although it is far from a coherent discipline, cognitive science provides a body of knowledge that can be of direct use for those interested in studying the minds of other animals. Knowledge of the conditions that affect how we attribute mental states to ourselves and others would help the researcher avoid the cognitive illusions and subtle anthropomorphism that can occur when examining the minds of other animals.

Cognitive illusions and subtle anthropomorphism are doubly dangerous. First, because they are hidden, few researchers realize just how pervaded are their thinking, perceiving, describing, and conceptualizing skills with sociocognitive heuristics and biases. Second, because they are derivative of folk psychology, they prevent us from contemplating minds whose structure and functioning may bear little resemblance to our own.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

I would like to thank Celia L. Moore, Linda Camras, and Debra A. Harkins for comments on earlier versions of this chapter.


REFERENCES

Abelson R. P. ( 1976). "Script processing in attitude formation and decision making". In J. S. Carroll & J. W. Payne (Eds.), Cognition and social behavior (pp. 33-46). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Asch S. E. ( 1952). Social psychology. New York: Prentice-Hall.

Beer C. G. ( 1963). "Incubation and nest-building behaviour of black-headed gulls IV: Nest-building in the laying and incubation periods". Behaviour, 21, 155-176.

Butterworth G. W. ( 1986). "Some problems in explaining the origins of movement control". In M. G. Wade & H. T. A. Whiting (Eds.), Motor development in children: Aspects of coordination and control (pp. 23-32). Boston: Martinus Nijhoff.

Chapman L. J., & Chapman J. P. ( 1967). "Genesis of popular but erroneous diagnostic observations". Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 72, 193-204.

Chapman L. J., & Chapman J. P. ( 1969). "Illusory correlation as an obstacle to the use of valid psychodiagnostic signs". Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 74, 271-280.

Dawes R. M. ( 1976). "Shallow psychology". In J. S. Carroll & J. W. Payne (Eds.), Cognition and social behavior (pp. 3-12). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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