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Estimation of animal intelligence by university students in Japan and the United States

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Abstract:

Japanese and American university students rated the intelligence of 56 animals relative to that of humans. In general, American students (n=104) rated animal intelligence higher than did Japanese students (n=235), and females rated intelligence higher than did males. In spite of these differences among groups, the general patterns of ratings were almost identical: The correlation coefficients of the male–female comparisons were 0.99 in both countries, and the coefficients of Japan–US comparisons in male and female groups were 0.95 and 0.96, respectively The intelligence ratings generally corresponded to the so-called “phylogenetic scale” from amoeba to chimpanzee, with several exceptions. The implications of these findings for the cross-cultural analysis of perceptions of animal mentality are discussed.

Keywords: ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE; ATTITUDES; FOLK PSYCHOLOGY; LAY THEORIES

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/089279302786992504

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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