Animal Minds (3) This course considers the cognitive and communicative abilities of animals, especially primates, as compared with humans.
PSYCH 268 Animal Minds (3)
This course covers select topics in animal cognition and communication. This course will focus mostly on the behavioral level. It will focus on observations and controlled behavioral experiments rather than on neurophysiological experiments (though it will cover some mechanisms that are implicated through behavioral research). One of the main goals of this course is to discuss how we can scientifically approach the study of animal minds. One of the recurring themes of the course will be methodological: how can we pose a question to a being that does not have language? Another goal of the course is to teach critical thinking about experiments in this field. It will discuss how to run a well-controlled experiment and closely examine the claims that are made by each experimenter. Through a class project, students will gain some experience trying to observe behavior and designing experiments.
This course addresses an active research area in psychology, of broad interest to students in Psychology and other disciplines. Because of this broad appeal, no background in psychology is assumed, and no prerequisite is required. The course will fulfill a 200-level requirement for students in the PSY majors and minors. Students typically will be evaluated by two midterm exams (25% each), a final exam (35%), and a research project (15%). The course will typically be offered once each academic year with an enrollment limit of 50.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.