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Are apes essentialists? Scope and limits of psychological essentialism in great apes

Overview of attention for article published in Animal Cognition, May 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (74th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (54th percentile)

Mentioned by

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11 tweeters

Citations

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7 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
26 Mendeley
Title
Are apes essentialists? Scope and limits of psychological essentialism in great apes
Published in
Animal Cognition, May 2016
DOI 10.1007/s10071-016-0991-4
Pubmed ID
Authors

Trix Cacchione, Christine Hrubesch, Josep Call, Hannes Rakoczy

Abstract

Human reasoning is characterized by psychological essentialism (Gelman in The essential child: origins of essentialism in everyday thought. Oxford University Press, New York, 2003): when reasoning about objects, we distinguish between deep essential properties defining the object's kind and identity, and merely superficial features that can be changed without altering the object's identity. To date, it is unclear whether psychological essentialism is based on the acquisition of linguistic means (such as kind terms) and therefore uniquely human, or whether it is a more fundamental cognitive capacity which might be present also in the absence of language. In the present study, we addressed this question by testing whether, and if so, under which circumstances non-human apes also rely on psychological essentialism to identify objects. For this purpose, we adapted classical verbal transformation scenarios used in research on psychological essentialism (Keil in Concepts, kinds, and cognitive development. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1989) and implemented them in two nonverbal tasks: first, a box task, typically used to test object individuation (Experiment 1), and second, an object choice task, typically used to test object discrimination, object preferences and logical inferences (Experiments 2-4). Taken together, the results of the four experiments suggest that under suitable circumstances (when memory and other task demands are minimized), great apes engage in basic forms of essentialist reasoning. Psychological essentialism is thus possible also in the absence of language.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 11 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 26 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 2 8%
Germany 2 8%
Austria 1 4%
Unknown 21 81%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 7 27%
Researcher 5 19%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 19%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 12%
Student > Bachelor 2 8%
Other 3 12%
Unknown 1 4%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 11 42%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 23%
Philosophy 2 8%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 1 4%
Nursing and Health Professions 1 4%
Other 2 8%
Unknown 3 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 6. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 January 2018.
All research outputs
#2,999,354
of 13,047,599 outputs
Outputs from Animal Cognition
#450
of 956 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#66,189
of 263,165 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Animal Cognition
#11
of 24 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,047,599 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 76th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 956 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 52% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 263,165 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 74% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 24 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 54% of its contemporaries.