Section 1: The rat et al.
The ability of the rat to have metacognition is what I found to be the most interesting bit about the rats. According to Pineno (2010), this means that other than thinking about various things one is in a position to think about the thought processes themselves. This is similar to viewing one's thoughts from an external point of view and wondering whether it is the right or the wrong thing. Hence through this process, one can assess him or herself which can be said to be the height of the thinking process. This being the case then it implies that rats have the ability to tell when it is the appropriate time to engage in given thought processes. For example, if they are feeling hungry they will shelve all other ideas and get engrossed in thinking about how they will get food.
I was shocked to note that other than rats, dolphins exhibit some extraordinary capabilities through having the sixth sense. This assists them to have some wisdom that is beyond what human beings have been thinking about animals. From the kind of special qualities that they possess humans have some valuable lessons that they can take from the same. They have a sixth sense that guides them and seems to inform them on the steps to take whenever they are looking for food or avoiding some danger that may be lying ahead. As humans, we can borrow this from dolphins and listen to our inner self that seems to have an idea of what could be awaiting us ahead. This means that we can make informed decisions through which we will always find ourselves on the right track.
I used to think that human beings are the most intelligent but I have been wrong. I never thought that animals could also share in our intelligence. This has made me look down on human beings especially when I consider the various special capabilities of dolphins. I think there is some other inert intelligence that is possessed by many other animals which is yet to be discovered. It is wrong for us to cherish that we are uniquely intelligent and that given the same resources as human beings there are animals which can do wonders with them (Pineno, 2010). They may only be limited physically but, they can guide and teach us about the right steps to follow if the language barrier can be overcome.
People have been thinking about animals being less intelligent based on their beliefs and how they found things. They have been taught and made to believe that they are less intelligent despite evidence on the contrary. Since they have been born and found themselves to be on top of the food chain they think that it is by virtue of their intelligence. From the agricultural revolution, when man began producing his food and domesticating other animals, people think that this gave credence to their belief in animals being less intelligent (Ohlson, 2016). The development of religion affirmed the belief that human beings were more intelligent based on the creation process, their relationship with God and their role over the rest of the universe including animals.
Section 2: The Paradigm
In classical conditioning, there are two stimuli that are paired together for the purposes of instilling learning. One of the stimuli may be biologically potent like food and the other one may be one that was previously not associated with anything or neutral (Varnon, Martin, & Abramson, 2012). Every time the bell rings food can be served and with time the one learning will start associating it with food and will feel hungry or begin to salivate whenever it rings. Operand conditioning is used to modify any given behaviors through a system of punishing or rewarding. This is good for studying animal intelligence as they will be found to react in the same ways as human beings. If food is served to animals after the ringing of a bell repeatedly over a long time, it will be observed that once it rings they will become restless or noisy expecting to be fed. The same thing will happen when their behavior has to be modified through either rewarding or punishing them immediately following the said action.
Behavioral approach has to do with the environment and it is easier to study than the cognitive approach. With the behavior approach, there are some processes that are easily observed through the interaction of the animal that is under study with the elements of the environment. Over time the animal may adopt what is termed as bad habits or behavior. The one in charge of the animal has a choice to take appropriate steps to have what is undesirable being unlearned (Arakawa, 2018). Cognitive science, on the other hand, is about the study of the mind and its processes. There are some factors that assist in this study some of which include the use of language, carrying out computations and the feedback that is elicited after taking in some thoughts or being asked questions. This kind of study would not be appropriate when one wants to study animal intelligence since it is limited by what one may want to observe. There is no communication between us and animals which does not mean that they are stupid because they have their own language.
In the years to come, I can see studies that are going to be focused on why animals act in certain ways rather than looking at things from our perspective. It is not proper for human beings to regard some actions to be making sense as long as they understand them. Since the animals' world is different from the human world in many respects then the actions from the two will not be similar. What makes sense to human beings will not necessarily be sensible to the animals depending on their physical setup. It means that if we are to exchange our environments then we will start appreciating why they do some things in certain ways that we perceive to be senseless. With the study focused on the way they do things rather than the way that we want them to behave it will mean that scientists will be pushed to make discoveries that they have never imagined (Varnon, et al., 2012). Animals have certain traits and behaviors that appear like they were thought out much earlier like the sewing of the nest by birds and the way they teach their young ones to fly.
Section 3: Your Study
Topic: Making Monkeys Acquire New Behavior
There may be a question on teaching monkeys new behaviors and ways of life different from what they are used to in the forest. Some of these that they are to be taught is eating cooked food and sleeping in an enclosure. This may be good assuming that the monkeys are much closer to human beings than other animals (Ohlson, 2016). It needs to be assumed that this kind of learning cannot be done in their natural habitat and most of it will have to be compromised for it to materialize. The hypothesis here will be that if monkeys are taught new mannerisms and adopt them then they will not fit in their natural habitat.
This is not restrictive to animals only but has also happened with human beings when they move to other places where they have different cultures from what they are used to. They may start consuming foods that they had not been consuming before. They will with time adopt many aspects of the place where they have migrated to. After a considerable number of years they will have fit in but the locals will still be considering them as visitors. They may then attempt to go back to their people at which juncture they will have acquired new mannerisms, beliefs, and ways. Some of these may not be acceptable to their so-called people and they may have to undo them or face rejection. It may be difficult for them to undo them and in some situations face hostility that may force them out. Since according to Varnon et al. (2012), they cannot fit in either of the two communities they may have to form a new one that is a merger of the two. The same thing may happen with the animals which may be forced to have their own community which might not be possible and so they are likely to face extinction.
The monkeys will be rounded up and placed in an enclosure that will resemble their natural habitat. Since they will have been brought to a different environment they are likely to be stressed and will have to be given time to relax. It will be important to have taken monkeys that belong to the same colony due to their association as social beings. They will find solace and comfort within themselves as members of one community. Unfortunately, they will have to be given food and they may not appreciate the aspect of having to fend for themselves (Arakawa, 2018). They may not also get the variety that they are used to in the forest and this will be a drawback. They will not be exposed to their ordinary enemies as they are used to in the forest which may not work to their advantage.
The aim of the experiment was to reduce some of their animal-like behaviors and introduce more human-like behaviors. It may not be possible to introduce all that we may have desired but at least some of it will be tried. Since there are several aspects that are to be introduced to the animals, these may be done in parallel. But unfortunately we may miss out on their reactions and that is why it may be important to do it in a piecemeal format. It can start with the food that they consume which can be raw at first and then it can be cooked a little bit. This will go on until a time when they will have fully cooked food. Of course, they are likely to reject the food at first assuming that there may be something fishy to do with it.
There will be enclosed cages where they can hide to sleep but the problem will be getting them to get into the cages. The food can be placed at the entrances and slowly get moved all the way to the inner part of the cages to get them used to move into the enclosures without suspicion. Arakawa (2018) acknowledges that in the forest they are used to such structures as traps getting them to sleep in the cages will be another challenge unless the food is served in the evenings. Unfortunately, monkeys are not used to eating at night as they prefer to take rest after a day of activity playing and hunting for food. Tactfully they will be introduced to eating in the evening and spending the night in the cages. With time they will get used to the cooked food and the sleeping in cages as opposed to what they had been doing in the forest. This experiment will have been done with the objective of having then introduced these behaviors to their fellow monkey relatives back in the forest.
Assuming that the monkeys have gotten accustomed to the few behavior changes that make the slightly resemble human beings it will now be time to have them release to back to the forest. There are likely to be a host of challenges to contend with. First, it will be getting them back to the same spot from where they were captured and little do we know whether there is another colony that occupied the region. Cages will need to have been built for them in advance for them to continue spending heir nights in them after a busy day. They will need to be continuously fed since they cannot continue getting cooked food in the forest (Ohslon, 2016). These monkeys will have lost the hunting skill having been fed and hey may not also have the technical know-how to protect themselves from the various enemies and predators in the forest.
These monkeys will not fit in and there is no way that they will instill their acquired mannerisms to the others in the forests. They are likely to be declared outcasts and chased from this habitat. Most likely they will be endangered species ad they will get attacked by predators and the acquired mannerism will not assist them in surviving either. Therefore the hypothesis for the experiment will hold in that if monkeys are taught new mannerisms and adopt them t...
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