Published at Thursday, February 08th 2018. by Amparo Delacruz in Coloring Funs.
The problem with us humans is that we judge other animals with our only tool - language. We talk about emotions, insight and feelings in a particular way and it is impossible to gauge animal mind unless we also understand animal language and although we understand some animal gestures, we cannot probe deep into the mind of other species. But just because we are limited in our knowledge and understanding of animals, it will be too dismissive and unwise to consider that animals only use trial and error methods to respond to the world. It is of course largely accepted across biology and psychology that in Darwinian terms, the human brain being the most evolved is capable of more complex emotional patterns, insights, expectations etc than the lower animals and the more evolved brain would also naturally imply a higher ability for complex mental functions. Other animals are only capable of mental functions that require lesser brain capabilities.
There is a famous study by David and Ann Premack who suggested that it is possible to teach human language to nonhuman apes. They worked with chimpanzees and a famous bonobo Kanzi to suggest that certain animals can also learn human language and can also spontaneously produce and recognize words. Some language learning has also been seen in birds like parrots but although parrots show rote learning by trial and error, chimpanzees and bonobos may just show some rudimentary form of intelligent behavior in their manipulation of language. Across the animal kingdom we have come across many cases and examples, when animals sulk or get depressed when they lose a mate or a young one, just like us humans. Animals also show very organized and complex mating behavior, highly developed learning behavior and even their social life seem to be based on survival strategies.
Contrary to what most people think, animals do manifest interesting psychological traits. Considering available data and the fact that animal psychology is still in its developing phase, it would be premature to provide a blueprint for the animal 'mind', although many researchers have attempted to do that and there has been some success in the understanding of the animal mind through study of behavior and learning in animals. Of course, behaviorists would consider it absolutely unnecessary to talk of an animal 'mind' as according to them, learning and responses in animals could be explained completely with behavioral changes and association of different stimuli. Many psychologists believe animals simply show instinctual responses and their behavior does not have intentionality.
This means that animals simply follow a stimulus response pattern and instinctively show a trial and error behavioral pattern of actions rather than using their conscious mind to behave in a certain way. This is what Konrad Lorenz, a pioneering ethologist considered as 'fixed action patterns' or FAPs and it is believed that a few FAPs are caused by certain standard stimuli across the animal kingdom. Obviously if the mind is to the brain as the soul is to the body, the concept of mind itself would be problematic but although we cannot deny the human mind, we can in a way explain animal behavior without referring to the mind directly. How far would this position be appropriate?
1. Animal coloring books. Find fun animal coloring books that provide an array of different animals for the students to color. Don't just settle for the same old animals; look for coloring books with exotic animals. This not only provides some variety, but it also provides a great learning opportunity. The children will learn a great deal about new animals and their environments. Dinosaurs are also a very popular animal among young children. Find out which animals the kids like and provide them with coloring books specific to their interests.
Learning Behavior: Learning in animals has been primarily explained by behaviorists who considered that animal learning could be explained with the principles of conditioning or association. Thus a dog learns to salivate when he sees his owner coming out of the kitchen with a particular plate because this is a pattern that has been repeated over time and the dog has associated the owner and the dish with the satisfaction of his hunger for food. But is it just a reflexive behavior and is the dog completely devoid of actual insight about the situation? Some comparative psychologists would think that just like us, dogs also have emotions such as happiness and expectations of something and evolutionary psychologists will consider the difference as dependent on the brain.