Abstracts: Cognitive bias in animal behaviour science

Emotional states of animals influence their cognitive processes as well as their behaviour.

Assessing emotional states is important for animal welfare science as well as for many fields of neuroscience, behaviour science, and biomedicine. This can be done in different ways, e.g. through assessing animals’ physiological states or interpreting their behaviours.

This paper focuses on the so-called cognitive judgment bias test, which has gained special attention in the last 2 decades and has become a highly important tool for measuring emotional states in non-human animals. However, less attention has been given to the epistemology of the cognitive judgment bias test and to disentangling the relevance of different steps in the underlying cognitive mechanisms.

This paper sheds some light on both the epistemology of the methods and the architecture of the underlying cognitive abilities of the tested animals. Based on this reconstruction, we propose a scheme for classifying and assessing different cognitive abilities involved in cognitive judgment bias tests.

Behzad Nematipour 1Marko Bračić 2Ulrich Krohs 3

Anim Cogn. 2022 Aug;25(4):975-990.doi: 10.1007/s10071-022-01647-z

1Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Münster, Domplatz 23, 48143, Münster, Germany. behzad.nematipour@uni-muenster.de.

2Department of Behavioural Biology, University of Münster, Badestr. 13, 48149, Münster, Germany.

3Department of Philosophy, University of Münster, Domplatz 23, 48143, Münster, Germany. 

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