Recent PostsTop ArticlesWild Animals

6 of the most famous animals in Psychology

For centuries and on, researchers have used animals in laboratories to find out whether they can mimic human behaviour, possess other capabilities and so on. Man has consistently tried to get into the animal mind and understand it comprehensively. That is why several animals have been used for psychological research as well. But a few animals have become more famous than ever for their humble participation in psychology and psychological research. If you want to know about these animals, you have to read this article until the end. So, continue for more relevant information. You are bound to find it helpful. 

A picture of Pavlov and his dog from 1893 (Source: RareHistoricalPhotos)
  1. Pavlov’s dog

In many research stories, you may have heard of Pavlov’s dogs and read about them in psychology textbooks. That is because the contribution of famous psychologist Ivan Pavlov’s dogs has been immense over the years. They have helped us dive into the crux of learning, especially classical conditioning. Pavlov did not end up knowing everything about classical conditioning all by himself. It wasn’t the product of his talent as much as it was by accident. 

It so happened that his research dogs salivated when they heard someone saying that their dinner was arriving. That was when he realised that it was easy for him to make his dogs salivated at the thought of any baseless cue. So, he could ring the bell or even make food arrive, and the dogs would start to drool. That is why his dogs are so famous everywhere. 

  1. Koko the gorilla

Generally, psychological studies deal with chimpanzees and rarely with Gorillas. But in the latest analysis, Koko The Gorilla was a massive contribution to the world of psychology. The Gorilla went on to be so famous that it also made headlines in the newspapers. It is believed that the Gorilla learns sign language and was also taught the English language by Psychologist Penny Patterson. A recent YouTube video also went famous of this adorable Gorilla where it was seen mourning the loss of an actor and Comedian. Koko, The Gorilla has also starred in many of its books, especially Koka’s Kitten. However, it was recently argued upon that teaching Gorillas a different language is some sort of animal mistreatment too. The argument continues to occur on many levels today. 

Image: Animal Wised
  1. Alex the parrot 

Pepperberg bought Alex the Parrot from a pet store in the year 1977. The Parrot was intelligent enough to learn nearly 100 words and 50 objects. It also knew about various shapes and colours that attracted enough attention towards the animal. The Parrot also starred in many famous news channels like BBC. Alex has also made its debut in many of Pepperberg’s research papers. It also made its contribution in Pepperberg’s recent animal-human communication research papers. The Economist also titled the Parrot as the “Best known Parrot.” When the Parrot passed away, its last words to Pepperberg were also stated by The New York Times, “You Be Good. See You Tomorrow. I Love You.”

  1. Echo the elephant 

Echo the elephant is known for having starred in nearly four different documentaries. Cynthia Ross, who was the principal researcher and ecologist of her time, also connected with Echo personally. As such, they had a very different bond to share. Echo passed away in 2009 when she was nearly 64 years old. She was also the world’s most studied elephant of her time and helped researchers gain enough emotional knowledge about elephants. Moss also reviewed their transmission of cultural practices.

  1. Harlow’s monkey 

Physical touch between a mother and a child is valued among people from all across the globe today. With Freud, it was easier to study this emotional bond closely with the help of monkeys. American Psychologist Harry Harlow uses monkeys to study psychology and the intimacy between the mother and her child. Researchers showcased that Harlow’s monkeys detached from their mothers continued to embrace the attachment and grew more intimate with their blankets. He also brought about two types of surrogate mothers for them. One of them provided milk via wire, and another wire was soft but did not provide any milk. It was later found out that without their mothers, the monkeys grew up to have genuine behavioural issues in the long run of their lives. 

  1. Peter the dolphin 

Sex research was conducted on Dolphins to find out their behavioural patterns about the same. So, a male dolphin named Peter was left in a dolphinarium to create an intimate bond with a human for nearly 24 hours or more. This was done to see if they could improve their intimacy with humans via human language. However,  the sexual needs began to be quite a concern during the research process. 

The bottom line 

These were some of the most well-known animals that were a part of Psychology at some point or another. They are highly studied and also regarded for their contributions in the same way even today.

%d bloggers like this: