Are You Smarter Than a Cetacean?: Death Reminders and Concerns About Human Intelligence

Are You Smarter Than a Cetacean?: Death Reminders and Concerns About Human Intelligence AbstractTerror management theory and research indicate that humans cope with concerns about mortality by believing we are more than nonhuman animals. The current studies investigated whether this motivation plays a role in believing humans are more intelligent than other animals. Study 1 had participants think about mortality or another unpleasant topic. The study found that after the death reminder, participants had more negative reactions to a scientific article describing dolphins as smarter than humans, but not to an article that merely focused on dolphins’ intelligence. Study 2 had participants read an article about dolphins being smarter than humans or an article describing dolphin intelligence without a comparison to humans. Participants then completed a measure that assessed how close to consciousness thoughts of death were. Those who read that dolphins were smarter than humans exhibited higher levels of death-related thought. These results may have important implications for conserving intelligent animal species. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society & Animals Brill

Are You Smarter Than a Cetacean?: Death Reminders and Concerns About Human Intelligence

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1063-1119
eISSN
1568-5306
D.O.I.
10.1163/15685306-12341553
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractTerror management theory and research indicate that humans cope with concerns about mortality by believing we are more than nonhuman animals. The current studies investigated whether this motivation plays a role in believing humans are more intelligent than other animals. Study 1 had participants think about mortality or another unpleasant topic. The study found that after the death reminder, participants had more negative reactions to a scientific article describing dolphins as smarter than humans, but not to an article that merely focused on dolphins’ intelligence. Study 2 had participants read an article about dolphins being smarter than humans or an article describing dolphin intelligence without a comparison to humans. Participants then completed a measure that assessed how close to consciousness thoughts of death were. Those who read that dolphins were smarter than humans exhibited higher levels of death-related thought. These results may have important implications for conserving intelligent animal species.

Journal

Society & AnimalsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1

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