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A general intelligence factor in dogs

Arden, Rosalind and Adams, Mark James (2016) A general intelligence factor in dogs. Intelligence, 55. pp. 79-85. ISSN 0160-2896

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.intell.2016.01.008

Abstract

Hundreds of studies have shown that, in people, cognitive abilities overlap yielding an underlying ‘g’ factor, which explains much of the variance. We assessed individual differences in cognitive abilities in 68 border collies to determine the structure of intelligence in dogs. We administered four configurations of a detour test and repeated trials of two choice tasks (point-following and quantity-discrimination). We used confirmatory factor analysis to test alternative models explaining test performance. The best-fitting model was a hierarchical model with three lower-order factors for the detour time, choice time, and choice score and a higher order factor; these accounted jointly for 68% of the variance in task scores. The higher order factor alone accounted for 17% of the variance. Dogs that quickly completed the detour tasks also tended to score highly on the choice tasks; this could be explained by a general intelligence factor. Learning about g in non human species is an essential component of developing a complete theory of g; this is feasible because testing cognitive abilities in other species does not depend on ecologically relevant tests. Discovering the place of g among fitness-bearing traits in other species will constitute a major advance in understanding the evolution of intelligence.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01602...
Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2016 17:23
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2017 15:38
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/65508

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