Theory of Animal Mind: Human Nature or Experimental Artefact?
Trends in Cognitive Sciences
MetadataShow full item record
Are animals capable of empathy, problem-solving, or even self-recognition? Much research is dedicated to these questions and yet few have considered how people answering these questions and yet few studies have considered how humans form beliefs about animal minds. Evidence suggests that our mentalising of animals may be a natural consequence of Theory of Mind (ToM) capabilities. However, where beliefs regarding animal mind have been investigated, this review reveals ere has been slow progress in establishing the mechanism underpinning how this is achieved. Here, we consider what conclusions can be drawn regarding how people theorise about animal minds and the different conceptual and particularly methodological issues that might limit the accuracy of conclusions currently drawn from this work. We suggest a new empirical framework for better capturing people’s human theory of animal mind, which in turn has significant political and social impacts.
AuthorsSpence, C; OSMAN, M; McElligott, AG
- College Publications