Ninth Edition CoverGraziano & Raulin
Research Methods (9th edition)

George Romanes (1848-1894) was strongly influenced by Darwin and wrote the first book on comparative psychology (Animal Intelligence, 1883). He was interested in the continuity of intelligence from lower animals to humans. He believed that many animals possessed a higher level of intelligence than most people realized and that many of the thought processes of animals were similar to human thought processes. 

Romanes believed animals can be compared in terms of a “mental ladder,” on which apes, cats, and dogs were at the top, followed by other mammals, and even including jellyfish at the bottom. Higher mental processes were presumably found in those at the top of the ladder, while lower forms at least could experience pleasure and pain. 

He developed a procedure known as introspection by analogy. An investigator, observing an animal involved in some behavior, would use his own mental processes as a model and try to infer how similar the animal’s mental processes might be to his own.

Based on his observations and introspection by analogy, Romanes concluded that many animals were capable of higher mental processes, much like humans. His data were anecdotal and introspective rather than based on systematic observation or experimentation, and he made many inferences that today would be considered too anthropomorphic. Anthropomorphic means that he assumed that the animal behavior was motivated by the same thoughts and feelings that motivate human behavior. 

There were many scientific limitations of his work, but he was one of the first people to take seriously the idea that consciousness and intelligence, like other characteristics, may be distributed in a continuous way across animal organisms. 

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