Feral Children and Clever Animals: Reflections on Human Nature

By Douglas Keith Candland | Go to book overview

5
The Psychology of Experimentalism and Behaviorism: Clever Hans and Lady Wonder

THE TERM behaviorism is now used to describe almost any epistemology that sets hypotheses and tests them by measuring behavior itself Often it is incorrectly used to describe any experimental work with animals. By measuring the behavior only, the status of mind is put outside the scheme. At first, it strikes us odd to have a science of psychology that is uninterested in the mind, but upon consideration we can understand the logic. Mind is yet one more example of the human invention of categories. Unless we can define it accurately and meaningfully, the concept can become a trap. The trap is one not unlike Freud's description of "suggestion," and we moderns may add "Instinct" to the list of examples.

Behaviorism does not have a simple, specifiable, time of birth. But the analysis of the horse, Clever Hans, illustrates so well the tenets and powers of the experimental method when applied to behavior that it is the centerpiece of this chapter. The chapter that follows pursues the story of Clever Hans, not for what it says about behaviorism, but for what the end of Hans's life tells us about human and animal interaction.

Over the years, with its numerous retellings, the story, of Clever Hans has become distorted. The story of Clever Hans is often cited by those who practice sign language with chimpanzees (for example, researchers who appear in Chapters 10 to 12), but only a few of such accounts are reliable and some are astonishingly wrong. The point is important because the ape sign-language trainers are sometimes accused of the same errors that were made in the study of Clever Hans.

The second part of the story as told in Chapter 6 concerning Clever Hans's life after his role as an experimental subject ended is mostly unknown, I think, chiefly because the documents did not survive World War I in quantity. Or perhaps the reason is that the parable to be extracted from the tale did not fit the psychologies of the times any more than "suggestion" suited Freud.

Let us examine what happened.

-111-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Feral Children and Clever Animals: Reflections on Human Nature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 414

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.