•  1
    It’s common to think that animals think. The cat thinks it is time to be fed, the monkey thinks the dominant is a threat. In order to make sense of what the other animals around us do, we ascribe mental states to them. The cat meows at the door because she wants to be let in. The monkey the monkey fails the test because he doesn’t remember the answer. We explain animal actions in terms of their mental states, just as we do with humans. One of us has argued that our science of animal minds requi…Read more
  •  264
    Theory of Mind and Non-Human Intelligence
    Shakelford, T.K. And V.A.Weekes-Shakelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer. 2016.
    Comparative cognition researchers have long been interested in the nature of nonhuman animal social capacities. One capacity has received prolonged attention: mindreading, or “theory of mind” as it’s also called, is often seen to be the ability to attribute mental states to others in the service of predicting and explaining behavior. This attention is garnered in no small measure from interest into what accounts for the distinctive features of human social cognition and what are the evolutionary…Read more
  •  403
    Comparative psychometrics: establishing what differs is central to understanding what evolves
    with Christoph J. Völter, Amanda Seed, and Josep Call
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 373 (20170283). 2018.
    Cognitive abilities cannot be measured directly. What we can measure is individual variation in task performance. In this paper, we first make the case for why we should be interested in mapping individual differences in task performance on to particular cognitive abilities: we suggest that it is crucial for examining the causes and consequences of variation both within and between species. As a case study, we examine whether multiple measures of inhibitory control for non-human animals do indee…Read more