- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (11 Oct. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0333923960
- ISBN-13: 978-0333923962
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 491,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Animal Cognition: The Mental Lives of Animals Paperback – 11 Oct 2001
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'This book communicates the intriguing facts about animal cognition, and how fascinating it can be to investigate animal minds, without talking down to the reader, exaggerating animals' mental capacities, or implying that outstanding questions have been answered...A very unusual combination.' - Professor Cecilia Heyes, University College London
'Wynne writes clearly, engages the reader well, and gives lots of examples and anecdotes but does not sacrifice rigour.' - Professor Michael Corballis, University of Auckland
'Extremely readable, particularly for undergraduates...the first book of its kind that is well-suited for an advanced undergraduate course rather than for a graduate course.' - Professor Tom Zentall, University of Kentucky
'An excellent introduction to animal cognition...Coverage is impressively thorough...Wynne has a delightfully engaging, informal style. It is clear that the author enjoys what he is writing about, and this enjoyment is readily conveyed to the reader.' - Professor John Pearce, Cardiff University
About the Author
CLIVE WYNNE is Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Florida. He was educated at University College London and Edinburgh University, and has since undertaken research in Germany, the US and Australia. He is Consulting Editor of the journal Animal Learning and Behavior and reviewer for Behavioural and Brain Sciences, Cognition, European Journal of Neuroscience, International Journal of Comparative Psychology, and many others.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book does what any good textbook should do and that is stick to what is the accepted norm within research on animal cognition. As we learn more, this perspective will change, and so will this textbook, however for now, it maintains a perspective which i believe to be well balanced for a basic introduction to animal cognition.
Another commenter commented on its associations to UF, now i can not say anything on the school as a wholes political agenda, but was i will say, as a norwegian left wing liberal, who thinks the democrats are atrociously conservative and the republicans a joke, not once while reading this book did i feel myself being preached to.
On the downside the author of this book is extremely biased. He ignores evidence on purpose, and dismisses evidence quite quickly. I believe that this book is extremely narrow-minded and limited. It's only capable of giving a very basic understanding of Animal Cognition. I also believe that what the book gets across should not be followed at all, except for basic concepts. The reason being again, that the author is extremely biased. I only read this book for leisure, as I did not agree with most of the stuff presented in the book. Even for assignments, I argued against Clive, and I did pretty well on the assignments, which shows that this book is really not that great for educational purposes.
With all that said, I still believe it's a great book, but as I said before, only for casual reading, not for extracting useful information.
Now there is something I must tell you. You can take it or leave it. Here it goes: Dr. Wynne teaches at the University of Florida, which is a notoriously conservative institution that propagates Republican thought in economics, political science, religious studies, etc. I'm sorry to have to say this, but it is a well-known, little-advertised fact about UF. I'm sorry but I sincerely want you to know this before you pull out your credit card - Dr. Wynne has a bias, too - which he has been known to admit to at times. If you shop around, you will see that there are some very objective and readable books out there such as Animal Learning & Cognition, 3rd Edition by Dr. Pearce, Minds of Their Own by Lesley Rogers, The Cognitive Animal (multiple authors), Animal Intelligence by Dr. Zhana Reznikova, The Smartest Animals on the Planet by Dr. Sally Boysen, and Cognition, Evolution & Behavior by Sara Shettleworth.
As I said, the author is an excellent writer. His thoughts are clearly expressed without academic jargon. This textbook on animal intelligence is probably the most readable textbook on this subject currently in publication. However, his analysis is awful. For example, concerning the mark mirror recognition test on chimps, he argues that mirror recogntion does not indicate self-awareness, because one could imagine a robot being programed to identify itself in a mirror! What a stupid remark! His critique of mirror recognition in dolphins is equally pathetic. He says nothing about positive results (disputed results, however) from research on birds, dogs and pigs. His interpretation of signs of self-awareness in other animals is that they have an "own-body concept." I see this as a clear avoidance of the conclusion that animals have consciousness. You will notice how annoyed the author is at the concept of apes and humans being genetically near identical. He actually attempts to argue that this universally accepted conclusion is incorrect. His work is hyper-critical and selective.
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