Anime Everyone Is Moving But Why Am I Still Here Trial-and-Error Learning in Animals

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Trial-and-Error Learning in Animals

Think about the word “intelligence”. What does it mean to say that an animal is intelligent? How can you tell if animals are really smart? After all, animals cannot speak and do not use words. They cannot express ideas, nor learn history or spelling.

However, animals are capable of many things. Perhaps your goldfish swims to the surface in search of food when you move near its tank. Or your cat can ring the bell when it wants to enter the house. Many other animals can perform tricks and tasks as well. Circuses are filled with dancing bears, playful sea lions, working elephants and ponies. This behavior is often misperceived as a sign of intelligence. As you will see, playing tricks is not really a sign of intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to reason. It is a sudden flash of an idea, or the ability to solve a new problem directly and using previous experiences. Tricks and tasks do not require the ability to think, reason, or have ideas.

Tricks can be mastered through special types of learning. One way to learn is through experimentation. Another is through conditioned responses. It is important to understand how this learning behavior works. Then we can understand the differences between tricks and really smart behavior.

One of the hardest problems for psychologists is finding ways to test intelligence. Conditioned responses are not a sign of intelligence. However, they are part of the animal’s behavior, so they can help psychologists compare the differences between the learning styles of different animals. Animals are conditioned in other ways as well. They can learn to avoid a place or object by giving it a mild, harmless electric shock. Some may even be forced to change their usual behavior. Almost all animals above the flat can be conditioned. Another type of learning occurs through experimentation. The most popular method of trial and error is the maze.

Labyrinths are all based on the same idea; that is, the animal placed in an entrance must find the exit. As he moves forward, he finds some branches. The animal must make a choice at each branch or fork. If he chooses the wrong one, he will reach a dead end. Then you have to go back to take the other path. After several times, the animal can run through the maze without making a mistake. The reward at the end is a piece of food for the hungry animal. Labyrinths can be very simple or very difficult, depending on the goals of the psychologists. Experiments have shown that ants can master very complicated mazes, as can frogs, turtles, rats, cockroaches and crabs.

Another way to look at trial and error in learning is to put an animal in a box. The food is placed outside and the animal can only get to the food by unlocking a door. Then the animal has to open the same door to get back into the box. In both cases the problem is the same: to invent a lock to open a door. It has been discovered that raccoons can learn to pick really complicated locks. Monkeys can also open locks in a special order, but sometimes it is difficult to work because of their bad mood. At first, humans took as long as monkeys to open locks in a special order. But once learned, they were much quicker to open. The reason it has taken humans so long is quite simple. There is no guessing the order by looking at the locks, as learning the order is a form of trial and error learning. Sight or reasoning is no more helpful here than in mazes. Thus, in the early stages of trial and error learning, even humans were not fast.

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