Behavioral Science, Engineering and Poetry Revisited

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
George F. Michel, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Forty years ago, Lehrman (1971) identified 2 orientations to the study of animal behavior. The natural history orientation conducted field and lab research designed to reveal how animals cope with the circumstances of their natural environment. Such research reveals the diversity among different types of animals and differences between the world of animals and the world of humans (i.e., “poetry”). In contrast, the anthropocentric orientation studies animals either to generate animal-derived general laws applicable to humans or to provide experimental information that, for ethical and practical reasons, cannot be acquired from human research. The primary motivation for the anthropocentric orientation is to provide workable models for investigating specifically human problems (i.e., “engineering”). Evidence is presented from the study of bird song that demonstrates the contribution that the “poetic” approach can make to anthropocentric (“engineering”) concerns.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
psychology, comparative psychology, animal models, behavioral science, bird song, ethology

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