Human-Animal Similarity and the Imageability of Mental State Concepts for Mentalizing Animals

Autor(en)
Esmeralda Gabriela Urquiza, Kurt Kotrschal
Abstrakt

The attribution of mental states (MS) to other species typically follows a scala naturae pattern. However, "simple"mental states, including emotions, sensing, and feelings are attributed to a wider range of animals as compared to the so-called "higher"cognitive abilities. We propose that such attributions are based on the perceptual quality (i.e. imageability) of mental representations related to MS concepts. We hypothesized that the attribution of highly imaginable MS is more dependent on the familiarity of participants with animals when compared to the attribution of MS low in imageability. In addition, we also assessed how animal agreeableness, familiarity with animals, and the type of human-animal interaction related to the judged similarity of animals to humans. Sixty-one participants (19 females, 42 males) with a rural (n = 20) and urban (n = 41) background rated twenty-six wild and domestic animals for their perceived similarity with humans and ability to experience a set of MS: (1) Highly imageable MS: joy, anger, and fear, and (2) MS low in imageability: capacity to plan and deceive. Results show that more agreeable and familiar animals were considered more humanlike. Primates, followed by carnivores, suines, ungulates, and rodents were rated more human-like than xenarthrans, birds, arthropods, and reptiles. Higher MS ratings were given to more similar animals and more so if the MS attributed were high in imageability. Familiarity with animals was only relevant for the attribution of the MS high in imageability.

Organisation(en)
Department für Verhaltens- und Kognitionsbiologie
Journal
Journal of Cognition and Culture
Band
22
Seiten
220-245
Anzahl der Seiten
26
ISSN
1567-7095
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1163/15685373-12340133
Publikationsdatum
07-2022
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106051 Verhaltensbiologie
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Cultural Studies, Social Psychology, Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/humananimal-similarity-and-the-imageability-of-mental-state-concepts-for-mentalizing-animals(8e947e41-7a02-4a43-8084-6863148cf54f).html