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Animal Cognition: The Mental Lives of Animals Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0333923962 ISBN-10: 0333923960 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (March 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333923960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333923962
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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

"Wynne writes clearly, engages the reader well, and gives lots of examples and anecdotes but does not sacrifice rigor." --Professor Michael Corballis, University of Auckland

About the Author

Clive D.L. Wynne is Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Florida.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Drew Hensley on June 1, 2009
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This is a textbook on the subject of animal intelligence, which is a much better book than the author's popular level book, Do Animals Think? The text includes very lucid descriptions of animal "IQ tests." I have to say that Dr. Wynne has a remarkable ability to explain academic matters in very simple English. However, the book is strangely personal and jaded for a classroom textbook. At one point in this textbook, the author tells a story about a friend bringing him a newspaper article about dolphins having sex just for fun. He tells his friend that the article is "ridiculous." He goes on to say why he thinks the article is "ridiculous" but never states why the article makes such an assertion about dolphins. In other words, he never addresses the researchers' reasons for thinking the dolphins have sex just for pleasure. Of course, he could be correct on all of his points, but I'm warning you before you spend good money on his books: This animal researcher has a strangely hand-waving, dismissive, cynical attititude towards the whole idea of animal intelligence and emotion. It really is very odd. He seems determined to expose what he calls the foolishness of popluar opinion about animals. He wants to say that the scientists or philosophers who believe in animal rights and intelligence (a growing number) are just idealogues, or they are being politically correct. If you are a cynic yourself, check out the "Smart Crow" videos over at Youtube.

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sondre Skarsten on December 4, 2010
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This will be a very hasty review, which i will get back to and actually do justice to once this semester ends and i will have some time. For now all i will say is that this book was a thoroughly enjoyable read (it is the only university textbook i have sat down and read cover to cover even before the semester started) which gives a brief and well balanced introduction to animal cognition. With the focus being on well balanced. If you want to read about how amazing it that capuchin monkeys can show envy, then this is probably not the book for you, but neither is it the book for those who want to read skinnerian stimulus-response account of animal behavior.

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.
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I think this is a great book for educational purposes. It gets the basic message of simplistic Animal Cognition across and does it quite well. The book is not written as a traditional textbook, but more of a story. Each chapter builds on the previous and each chapter contains examples from the author's life. In all honesty, it's a fun read not just for students, but anyone who wants to enjoy a good book.
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.
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