Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
David A. Washburn
Over the past few decades, the dominant view by comparative psychologists of analogical reasoning in nonhuman primates was one of dichotomy between apes, including humans, and monkeys: the distinction between the analogical ape and paleological monkey (Thompson & Oden, 2000). Whereas evidence for analogy proper by representation reinterpretation in monkeys is sparse and debated, the gap between that which is analogic and paleologic has been narrowed by the studies presented here. Representation of relational concepts important for analogy proves difficult for rhesus and capuchin monkeys without the ability to rely on a greater amount of perceptual variability, implicating a perceptually-bound predisposition in problem-solving (Chapters 2-3). A shift in attention from perceptual features to abstract concepts for employment in relational matching is again difficult, but not impossible given cognitive incentive in the form of differential outcomes to refocus attention on conceptual properties (Chapter 4). Finally, chimpanzees unlike monkeys appear more apt to reason by analogy, perhaps due to a more default conceptual focus (Chapter 5). Taken together, these studies provide an account for the emergence of analogical reasoning skills throughout the primate lineage in contrast to views regarding analogy a hallmark of human intelligence.
Flemming, Timothy M., "An Analogical Paradox for Nonhuman Primates: Bridging the Perceptual-Conceptual Gap" (2010). Psychology Dissertations. Paper 74.