Subject: PSYCHOLOGY OF ANIMALS
1. Bekoff, M. (2007). The emotional lives of animals. Novato, CA: New World Library
2. Nature: Animal Odd Couples – http://video.pbs.org/video/
A. Essay Questions (40% of this assignment): Read/watch the above readings and videos and use them to answer the following questions.
1. Toward the beginning of his book, Bekoff briefly discusses the difference between emotions and feelings.
a. How does he define the difference?
b. Do some research and find out how psychologists define emotions and feelings. Make sure you properly cite your sources.
2. On page 34 of his book, Lakoff discusses Tinbergen’s overlapping areas of inquiry animal researchers should be interested in. He then gives an example of how that would apply to studying the play bow in dogs.
a. Choose an animal behavior and discuss how we might study that behavior using Tinbergen’s four areas of inquiry. Be specific and follow his example.
b. Which question would be most interesting to you? Why? What would you hope to learn?
3. The film on cross-species friendships mentions the need for trust quite a bit.
a. Is trust an emotion? Why or why not? Don’t just rely on your own opinion here. Do some research and explore what do other researchers say? As always, properly cite your sources
4. Since non-human animals cannot tell us about their feelings and emotions we need to rely on other ways to find out. What are some ways in which we can research animal feelings and emotions? The book and videos mention several ways. Discuss two methods including what opportunities they offer for learning about animal emotions and what their limitations are.
5. Watch the following two short videos on cats’ attachment to humans. The first one describes a lab study on attachment (dogs and cats); the second is an owner’s tongue-in-cheek replication.
What, besides individual differences between the featured cats, could account for the difference in behavior between the two videos? Consider and discuss several possibilities. Going back to earlier course materials should help you with this question.
C.1. Do the additional insights you gained this week into animal emotions change your assessment about whether animals have morals from last week’s assignment? Why or why not?
2. In what ways do you agree or disagree with Bekoff’s stance on the ethical decisions we should be making in relation to animals based on what we know about animal emotions?
3. Describe an emotional encounter you have had with an animal. What were the primary and/or secondary emotions (both yours and the animal’s) in that encounter? What behaviors did the animal exhibit to communicate its emotions? What was your response? Why do you think this experience has stayed with you?
This short video has a great cat-dog interaction in it. Notice the different ways in which the dog and cat try to either diffuse or escalate the situation. Great Stuff! Describe the social signals you see both the dog and the cat using to negotiate their encounter. Be specific and detailed in your description.