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Negative Reinforcement vs. Punishment — They Don’t Mean the Same Thing!

Over at PBS, the folks at NOVA have started a new blog series called “Animal Acumen” where they post interesting stories about animal cognition. Always interesting! The latest article is about the incentive for animals to cooperate in society. Photo by prashant maxsteel Unfortunately, the first thing I noticed about this post was that in…

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Animal Intelligence: Kea vs. Crows — Which is Smarter?

Which is smarter, a parrot or a corvid? Actually, that’s a trick question. As this excellent article in Discover Magazine points out, you can’t boil animal “intelligence” down to a simple measure of how an animal performs on an arbitrary, human-designed test. Animal intelligence isn’t a single thing. There is no standard IQ test for…

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