Type of instruction
Part of degree program
Typically offered in
- Introduction: The history of studies on animal thinking. From anecdotal cognitivism to modern cognitive ethology.
- Methods of behaviour observation
- Traditional comparative psychology and ethology as different approaches. Data collection in nature, modern lab. studies, ways of studying human cognition.l
- Understanding physical world: skills and evolutionary compulsions. Object representation abilities, numerical abilities.
- Skills of understanding social worlds. The Machiavellian intelligence. Primate studies and observations on human infants: the emergence of human cognition.
- Levels if intentionality: mentalistic interpretations of others' behaviour. The effect of experimenter on the observations: Clever-Hans effects.
- What is intelligence? A biological approach.
- Measuring intelligence, methodological issues.
- The evolutionary role of play behaviour in the emergence of social cognition.
- The emergence of human and animal communication: evolutionary mechanisms.
- Mentalistic approaches to social learning. Mechanisms and experimental observations.
- Special forms of social learning. Imitation in animal kingdom, human imitative behaviour.
- The ontogenesis of human theory of mind . Self recognition: evolutionary roots and current experiments.
- Understanding knowledge and ignorance in others. Experimental paradigms and methodoplogical issues. The nonverbal studies of complex cognitive skills in humans and animals.
- On modelling human cognition: evolutionary homologies and analogies.
- Human specific aspects of social cognition: the dog as a model species.
- The evolution of human social cognition: the chimpanzee model.
- Cognitive requirements of human linguistic abilities.
- The importance of endophenotype in the study of cognition: Hormonal studies, measuring heart rate frequency, candidate gene analyses.
- Ethical issues in the study of animal mind.
- Welfare problems.
Learning outcome, competences knowledge:
- broad theoretical knowledge in Evolutionary Psychology
- comprehensive theoretical interest
- is capable of professional cooperation within and outside of his/her discipline;
Learning activities, learning methods:
Lectures and interactive discussions
Evaluation of outcomes
Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:
mode of evaluation: examination and practical course mark
Shettleworth, S. D. J. (1998). Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford Univiersity Press.