Anthropocentrism as cognitive dissonance in animal research?
Harmon-Jones et al. (2017) make a thought-provoking suggestion in their commentary on Zentall (2016): Overlooked biases among researchers on animal cognition might lead them to discount the traces of higher-order cognition in animals they study. We find the suggestion both philosophically important and worth further reflection for animal scientists. Harmon-Jones et al. point to two “cognitive dissonance” biases involving the clash between the common human resistance to viewing ourselves as animals/meat-eaters and how these biases might lead to discounting possible advanced cognitive performances in the animals studied. We show how these biases might appear in cognitive research generally and argue for further study on their effects.
Furlong, Ellen E.; Silver, Zachary; and Furlong, Jack, "Anthropocentrism as cognitive dissonance in animal research?" (2018). Furlong Cognition Lab. 4.