Free course

Living psychology: animal minds

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Living psychology: animal minds

Does your pet cat or dog experience emotions the same way you do? Can non-human animals solve complex problems? To what extent do other species have minds that are like human minds? This free course, Living psychology: animal minds, explores these, and other, issues in the psychology of animal minds. Studying animal minds is of great importance to psychologists as humans are, of course, also animals. Researching other species can provide extremely useful insights into how human minds developed throughout evolutionary history.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe studies that have explored various questions about the nature of animal minds, such as whether animals experience emotions and can engage in problem-solving
  • explain how evolutionary theory is relevant to questions about animal minds
  • describe some studies that have attempted to explore whether animals have a Theory of Mind (ToM) and discuss what these studies have allowed psychologists to conclude
  • outline how studying animal minds contributes to psychological knowledge about human minds
  • explain some of the strengths and shortcomings of comparative laboratory-based methods in psychology.

First Published: 26/04/2016

Updated: 18/09/2018

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Course content