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  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Your kind of question, Mike!

    I think this is your kind of question: a question about animals. Please read the sentences below:

    Why would an animal want to cooperate with a human? The behaviorist would say that animals cooperate when, through reinforcement, they learn it is in their interest to cooperate. This is true as far as it goes, but I don't think it goes far enough, if we remember that some rewards are more important than others. Certainly with humans, the reinforcement that comes from self-respect, dignity, and accomplishment can be far more motivating than material rewards. Is it also possible that it is important for an animal to feel that it has some purpose, that for social animals that purpose involves meaningful interactions with others, and that the self-respect gained from cooperation might be more important than getting a biscuit as a reward?

    Zookeepers recognize this. Those who work with animals have been doing their best to try to understand the emotional as well as material needs of different animals in order to relieve the boredom and purposelessness of captivity. Through enrichment programs, a cheetah might still feel the thrill of the hunt by chasing after make-believe prey in a specially constructed race at the San Diego Zoo. In Scotland, tigers must run up a twenty-foot-high pole to get to food at certain times.



    Now, about the "social animals" above, what does "social" exactly mean there? "Living together with humans and sometimes helping us" or "Living together with the same kind of animals in organized groups"?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    While not having Mike advatages, I'd say 'social animals' meant groups of those animals.

  3. #3
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    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: Your kind of question, Mike!

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    I think this is your kind of question: a question about animals. Please read the sentences below:

    Why would an animal want to cooperate with a human? The behaviorist would say that animals cooperate when, through reinforcement, they learn it is in their interest to cooperate. This is true as far as it goes, but I don't think it goes far enough, if we remember that some rewards are more important than others. Certainly with humans, the reinforcement that comes from self-respect, dignity, and accomplishment can be far more motivating than material rewards. Is it also possible that it is important for an animal to feel that it has some purpose, that for social animals that purpose involves meaningful interactions with others, and that the self-respect gained from cooperation might be more important than getting a biscuit as a reward?

    Zookeepers recognize this. Those who work with animals have been doing their best to try to understand the emotional as well as material needs of different animals in order to relieve the boredom and purposelessness of captivity. Through enrichment programs, a cheetah might still feel the thrill of the hunt by chasing after make-believe prey in a specially constructed race at the San Diego Zoo. In Scotland, tigers must run up a twenty-foot-high pole to get to food at certain times.



    Now, about the "social animals" above, what does "social" exactly mean there? "Living together with humans and sometimes helping us" or "Living together with the same kind of animals in organized groups"?

    One could take "social animals" two ways. The most common, and the one intended here, in my opinion, refers to animals that have social interactions with their peers. Many animals instinctively band together for the purposes of safety, security, hunting, and mating. Sheep almost alwys flock together in a group. Wolves live in a compex pack structure. There are other animals who are far more solitary in their lifestyles. Many social animals can also be easily socialized -- the second meaning. This means that they transfer some of their peer feelings and relationships to other species, particularly humans. Many dogs are very happy just to please their owners. They crave affection and attention. Behaviorists say that we become the alpha males and females in their new packs.

  4. #4
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Your kind of question, Mike!

    Man...amazing...you are so amazing, Mike!

    Let me call you, again, my sensei!!

    Thank you!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Your kind of question, Mike!

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Man...amazing...you are so amazing, Mike!

    Let me call you, again, my sensei!!

    Thank you!

  6. #6
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Your kind of question, Mike!

    I've found something very interesting in your comments. This part:

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    There are other animals who are far more solitary in their lifestyles.
    You used "who" instead of "which" for animals.

    My guess is, that's an indication that for you animals and humans are equally important.

    Interesting.

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your kind of question, Mike!

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    I've found something very interesting in your comments. This part:

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    There are other animals who are far more solitary in their lifestyles.
    You used "who" instead of "which" for animals.

    My guess is, that's an indication that for you animals and humans are equally important.

    Interesting.
    Good catch. I do tend to use "who" for animals. I also use "her" and "his", as opposed ot "its", if I know the gender. I tend to see animals as other beings. In this piece, we were discussing the behavior of animals as it applies to humans. It seems odd to me to then refer to them as inanimate objects. :wink:

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