The article by Heyes (2012) makes significant discoveries on the cognitive abilities of humans as well as those of animals. In addition, the article provides an explanation of the similarities between the cognitive abilities of the animal as well as those of human beings. As a result, the article provides an explanation that assist understanding the minds of animals and their relation to that of human beings. Heyes uses a case study of the chimpanzees where she tries to explain the relationship between complex behavior and simple mindedness in the perspectives of associative blindness. The article provides an associative explanation, which has been used to trump more of the cognitive hypotheses used in the study (Heyes, 2012).
Associative learning is used to challenge associative blindness, due to the fact that associative learning occurs in various forms of taxa and functional contexts. In addition, associative learning has been found to a major force in guiding the development of human various complex human behaviors. In addition, there has been a common view that associative blindness is composed in the rejection of behaviorism, but research shows that it is not entailed in it (Heyes, 2010).
The study of comparative cognition suggests that one should assume that generally animals have simple minds. The explanation given to these perspectives and assumptions is that animals have different psychological processes, which vary in complexity. However, simple mindedness proponents emphasize that associative learning is essential in providing justifiable explanations (Shanks, 2005). Claiming that animals have simple minds amounts to claiming that associative learning provides the only means through which animals think about the world.
In the article, associative learning has been viewed as a major contributor of focal intelligent behaviors in animals and the explanation that animals understand. This has been observed in the behavior of animals such as causality, intentions reciprocity and the need for a companion. The article provides a comparative cognition view that associative blindness is closely related to simple mindedness. It provides an explanation that it can strongly be use to explain the intelligent behaviors in all animals (Mackintosh, 2009). However, their behavior is explained in the dynamic views of both associative learning and cognitive mechanisms.
Heyes provides three reasons that can be used to explain and draw evidence that associative learning is the basic reason for intelligent behaviors in animals. The article provides an explanation that associative learning occurs in a wide range of vertebrae and invertebrate taxa, as well as across various functional domains (Robert & Dawson, 2004). In addition, associative learning has been conserved in different primates, which includes the human beings. Associative learning has also been explained on a historical basis, providing drawing evidence it plays an essential role in development of intelligent in animals (Loy, 2009). The explanation provided through the use of prosocial behavior, which has been of great importance in comparative cognition.
The case study provides an explanation of the behavior of chimpanzees, where through acting in a certain way the chimpanzees were rewarded. Although the chimpanzees acted in a way to ensure that they were rewarded, this does mean that behavior of the chimpanzees is selfish in nature. However, it does not also imply that the chimpanzees also cared for the needs of their counterparts (Catmur, et al, 2011). The same behavior is also exhibited by human beings, which indicates that their choices are prosocial in nature, but the underlying motivations and representations are not prosocial.
Associative learning has been observed in every major group of taxon affecting the functional contexts such as foraging, predator avoidance, mate choice and navigation. Associative learning has also been associated with the complex behaviors of human beings, as research has found that it not only controls spits and twitches, but also contributes to the creation of voluntary patterns affecting primates behavior (Zaporozhets, 2002). Therefore, studies show that one can form a conclusion that if associative learning affects the complex behaviors of human being, it also affects the behaviors of other primates. There have been various studies showing that cognition functionality is affected substantially by associative learning as it contributes substantially to the IQ. For example, the performance of people on standardized tests on general intelligence can highly be predicted by associative learning efficiency (Shettleworth, 2010). There have been numerous studies showing the linkage between associative learning and various complex human behaviors.
Association blindness fails to consider associative learning as the basis of explanation of the complex behaviors and lay emphasis on psychological processes as the major contributors of complex behaviors. However, associative learning is not a mere behaviorist and historical perspectives indicate that behaviorism perspectives were overly ambitious (Prados, 2011). Associative learning has been tested though various technological processes and results showing that learning is perceived as a change. Associations are also based on stimuli and responses to stimuli in the sensory and the produced stimulations (Domjan, Grau, & Krause, 2010). Therefore, associative learning is based on the idea that learning takes place in the animal’s mind, which lead to the change of behavior. Supporters of simple mindedness have failed to provide justified explanations on the complex behavior of animals basing their arguments on psychological evolution.
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