Saturday, October 26, 2019

self awareness in primates: Fact or Fiction Essay -- essays research p

Abstract The author focuses on determining whether primates are capable of self-awareness. An article is reviewed and evaluated encompassing different points of view and theories. Learned recognition and self-awareness is compared and discussed. Self-awareness in Primates: Fact or Fiction Learning is "a change in behavior due to experience" (Chance, 2003, p. 36). Learning allows an organism to modify its behavior to suit a particular situation. It is a mechanism by which one copes with the ever-changing environment. Anything an organism does that can be measured is behavior (Chance, 2003). Organisms change their behavior to fit environmental changes; this is a learning process, it provides a means to modify our physical environment for example, changing climate by controlling it, or cooking and chemically changing food. These acts are not due to heredity, they are a result of learning (Chance, 2003). It has been proven that chimpanzees and humans share 99.4 % of their DNA, making their genetic makeup very similar. Chimpanzees have large brains which are thought to be paired with higher intelligence since it has been proven that smaller brain sizes demonstrate lower intelligence (Schmid, 2003). Gordon Gallup (1979) sought to discover the answer to a question that Darwin would respond negatively to; do animals have a sense of self awareness? Darwin would say that we are fundamentally different from other animals. One assumption was that man was unique from other animals because of the use of tools. However, as noted by Gallup (1979) Jane Goodall discovered that chimpanzees used twigs as tools for reaching food that they could otherwise get to. Chance (2003) states "reinforcement is the procedure of providing consequences for a behavior that increases or maintain the strength of that behavior" (p.141). The chimpanzees had the novel thought of using a twig to reach ants that were inside a tree trunk. They strengthened or increased their behavior of using a twig to acquire food because this brought about positive consequences, i.e. food. As noted by Chance (2003) Thorndike compared operant learning to natural selection. Those behaviors that are useful survive, those t hat are not, die out. It has been proven that chimpanzees can grasp the basic idea of language. According to Rumbaugh (1995), recent studies show that apes... ...lphins may seek selves in mirror images. (indications of self-awareness in dolphins) (Brief article). Science News, 159(18). Retrieved July 27, 2004, from HighBeam Research database. Gallup, G.G. (1979, July-August). Self-awareness in primates. American Scientist, 67(5), 417-421. Retrieved July 26, 2004, from XanEdu database. Miensinompe, S. V. (1997). Animal's self awareness. Retrieved August 5, 2004, from Miller, N. (1998, February). The reflective self: A sociological perspective. Roeper Review, 20(3). Retrieved July 28, 2004, from HighBeam Research database. Pennisi, E. (1999, June). Primate abilities: are our primate cousins 'conscious'? Science, 284(5423), 2070-2073. Retrieved July 28, 2004, from HighBeam Research database. Rymbaugh, D. (1995, September). Primate language and cognition: Common ground. Social Research, 63(3). Retrieved July 25, 2004, from HighBeam Research database. Schmid, R. E. (2003, May). Researchers: Chimps closer to humans. AP Online. Retrieved July 28, 2004, from HighBeam Research database. Wynne, C. (1999, November). Do animals think? Psychology Today. Retrieved July 26, 2004, from HighBeam Research database

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