Animals and Men: Studies in Comparative Psychology

By David Katz | Go to book overview

ANIMALS AND MEN
Studies in Comparative Psychology

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION

THE COMPARATIVE POINT OF VIEW IN PSYCHOLOGY

IN science almost every inquiry is based, admittedly or not, on the comparative method. Applying this to psychology, how could we ultimately determine the nature of an animal without contrasting it with man? And with what measuring- rod shall we measure man if we do not compare him with his fellow-creatures in the animal world? Thus human and animal psychology are in matter and method interdependent.

The principle in accordance with which we have chosen the problems for discussion here has its advantages, but also its disadvantages. One advantage is that I am reporting only those things which are known to me from my own observations, or are most closely related to my own experience. It is fortunate that the problems I have chosen are those on which the literature of animal psychology is able to report relatively little, in fact, less than they really deserve, considering their importance. An exhaustive treatment of them might therefore be welcome to many. I believe I am not alone in thinking that many special problems of animal psychology, such as the conditioned reflex, delayed reaction and orientation in a maze, have taken up time and energy out of proportion either to the results actually achieved or

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