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The string-pulling paradigm in comparative psychology.

Jacobs, Ivo LU and Osvath, Mathias LU (2015) In Journal of Comparative Psychology 129(2). p.89-120
Abstract
String pulling is one of the most widely used paradigms in comparative psychology. First documented 2 millennia ago, it has been a well-established scientific paradigm for a century. More than 160 bird and mammal species have been tested in over 200 studies with countless methodological variations. The paradigm can be used to address a wide variety of issues on animal cognition; for example, what animals understand about contact and connection as well as whether they rely on perceptual feedback, grasp the functionality of strings, generalize across conditions, apply their knowledge flexibly, and possess insight. Mammals are typically tested on a horizontal configuration, birds on a vertical one, making the studies difficult to compare; in... (More)
String pulling is one of the most widely used paradigms in comparative psychology. First documented 2 millennia ago, it has been a well-established scientific paradigm for a century. More than 160 bird and mammal species have been tested in over 200 studies with countless methodological variations. The paradigm can be used to address a wide variety of issues on animal cognition; for example, what animals understand about contact and connection as well as whether they rely on perceptual feedback, grasp the functionality of strings, generalize across conditions, apply their knowledge flexibly, and possess insight. Mammals are typically tested on a horizontal configuration, birds on a vertical one, making the studies difficult to compare; in particular, pulling a string vertically requires better coordination and attention. A species' performance on the paradigm is often influenced by its ecology, especially concerning whether limbs are used for foraging. Many other factors can be of importance and should be considered. The string-pulling paradigm is easy to administer, vary, and apply to investigate a wide array of cognitive abilities. Although it can be and has been used to compare species, divergent methods and unclear reporting have limited its comparative utility. With increasing research standards, the paradigm is expected to become an even more fundamental tool in comparative psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Comparative Psychology
volume
129
issue
2
pages
89 - 120
publisher
American Psychological Association (APA)
external identifiers
  • wos:000354957600001
  • pmid:25984937
  • scopus:84929392655
ISSN
1939-2087
DOI
10.1037/a0038746
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7a50aa11-6ef2-4418-949e-d90e3dc2881d (old id 5449059)
date added to LUP
2015-06-16 15:47:36
date last changed
2017-07-30 03:18:31
@article{7a50aa11-6ef2-4418-949e-d90e3dc2881d,
  abstract     = {String pulling is one of the most widely used paradigms in comparative psychology. First documented 2 millennia ago, it has been a well-established scientific paradigm for a century. More than 160 bird and mammal species have been tested in over 200 studies with countless methodological variations. The paradigm can be used to address a wide variety of issues on animal cognition; for example, what animals understand about contact and connection as well as whether they rely on perceptual feedback, grasp the functionality of strings, generalize across conditions, apply their knowledge flexibly, and possess insight. Mammals are typically tested on a horizontal configuration, birds on a vertical one, making the studies difficult to compare; in particular, pulling a string vertically requires better coordination and attention. A species' performance on the paradigm is often influenced by its ecology, especially concerning whether limbs are used for foraging. Many other factors can be of importance and should be considered. The string-pulling paradigm is easy to administer, vary, and apply to investigate a wide array of cognitive abilities. Although it can be and has been used to compare species, divergent methods and unclear reporting have limited its comparative utility. With increasing research standards, the paradigm is expected to become an even more fundamental tool in comparative psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record},
  author       = {Jacobs, Ivo and Osvath, Mathias},
  issn         = {1939-2087},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {89--120},
  publisher    = {American Psychological Association (APA)},
  series       = {Journal of Comparative Psychology},
  title        = {The string-pulling paradigm in comparative psychology.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038746},
  volume       = {129},
  year         = {2015},
}