In: The Future of the Study of Religion
In: Religion and Retributive Logic
Authors: Glenn Morris and Paul de Luca

Abstract

Males of the katydid Conocephalus nigropleurum (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) shake their body to produce a substrate-borne vibratory signal in the context of courtship and mate attraction. We measured the physical parameters of this tremulation signal and then tested its effectiveness in eliciting taxis by virgin females. We also investigated the role of these vibrations in the choices made by females of larger males as mates. A search for correlations between male weight and vibratory signal parameters revealed a strong negative relationship to inter-pulse interval (ipi). In two-choice playback experiments females oriented towards tremulation vibration when it was the only vibration stimulus provided. In further playback experiments females also distinguished conspecific tremulation from a control vibration. When offered simultaneous presentations of tremulation signals that differed in ipi, females moved toward the stimulus with the shorter ipi indicative of a larger male. This is the first study to demonstrate that tremulation signalling by male katydids encodes critical information on body size, and that females discriminate among different vibratory signals in favour of those indicating a larger male.

In: Behaviour

Abstract

The status of "anthropomorphic" descriptions of animals in terms of intentions and emotions has been generally regarded as a prescriptive methodological concern. In contrast, in the study of human social psychology the nature of psychological descriptions of other people has been approached as a substantive empirical issue. Following this lead, the present study investigated the nature of people's descriptions of short videotaped episodes of animal behavior. The descriptions obtained were predominantly anthropomorphic and structured according to a limited set of "event units" whose psychological meaning was highly consistent across the observers. In common with many social psychologists we conclude that consistency of anthropomorphic description suggests that meaning is specified within the structure of behavior.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

The status of "anthropomorphic" descriptions of animals in terms of intentions and emotions has been generally regarded as a prescriptive methodological concern. In contrast, in the study of human social psychology the nature of psychological descriptions of other people has been approached as a substantive empirical issue. Following this lead, the present study investigated the nature of people's descriptions of short videotaped episodes of animal behavior. The descriptions obtained were predominantly anthropomorphic and structured according to a limited set of "event units" whose psychological meaning was highly consistent across the observers. In common with many social psychologists we conclude that consistency of anthropomorphic description suggests that meaning is specified within the structure of behavior.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

Belief in the mental lives of nonhuman animals can have an impact on how we view and treat them, yet little is known about how and why laypeople attribute emotions to other species. The current study investigated how familiarity with animals (in terms of ownership) relates to beliefs regarding different emotions within and across species. An opportunity sample of 200 participants completed a questionnaire that measured familiarity with animals and beliefs about the capacity of a variety of species to experience a range of 16 different emotions. Participants reported varied levels of experience with animals and it was found that, regardless of familiarity, participants reported a wide variety of emotions in all the species they were asked to consider. However, participants who had never lived with an animal reported far fewer emotions than those who had, regardless of species. Keeping more than one animal did not increase the number of emotions reported. Keepers of a particular species always reported more emotions for that species than nonkeepers of that species. We conclude that familiarity with animals is an important determinant of belief about emotions in animals and animal mind in general.

In: Society & Animals
In: West over Sea