Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Elessar » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:05 am

Delilah wrote:Oh shit, El...evolution in action...we're in trouble now! :mrgreen:




I saw that in the paper yesterday - made a note to myself to read it some time. Later.
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Elessar » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:06 am

Delilah wrote:I'm betting that the video of explaining the death of the kitty was shortened significantly. Well really, "Sad, cry, frown" could have been her response to another trainer refusing to give her a banana 5 minutes ago. I doubt that she'd get it that quickly too. The video clip was obviously not presented in a scientific manner. It was like a clip from a reality show...just an attempt to play on human emotions and get ratings.


I agree. So straight away the entire authenticity of the video is in question. She might not have been grieving, she might have just been grumpy.

I bet the cat wasn't even killed on the road, they just took her away to see how she'd react!
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Elessar » Wed May 23, 2012 12:02 pm

Bleurgh.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18146336

Very interesting. Probably not all that surprising though, and the flawed premise is the fairly dodgy 'Big 5' theory they've assumed is definitely true in humans. It's popular, but still contentious.
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Belle Leisha » Wed May 23, 2012 2:56 pm

It's a bit of a vague claim, all told. Chimps are like people, is not really new information either. I'm struggling a bit with the part about removing projected human bias and coming to the conclusion we share personality dimensions. "Personality", is a projected human bias.
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Elessar » Wed May 23, 2012 4:10 pm

Belle Leisha wrote:It's a bit of a vague claim, all told. Chimps are like people, is not really new information either. I'm struggling a bit with the part about removing projected human bias and coming to the conclusion we share personality dimensions. "Personality", is a projected human bias.


Unusually (and rather pleasingly!), the article links to the original paper. I read it. It's fairly dodgy. Basically they got a bunch of people to classify the chimps using a list of a few dozen words, and then did stats to eliminate observer bias, and then grouped the descriptors into the 'big five' personality traits: extroversion, conscientiousness, openness, neuroticism and agreeableness. The clever stats will have done things to control for observer bias - e.g. if one person always says "aggressive", their description of "aggressive" will be given less value when assessing the chimp's overall aggressiveness. That's all fair enough. But it's dodgy for a few reasons:

1) They're using fairly basic terms that could be applied to any animal, e.g. 'aggressive' or 'bullying'.
2) The correlation rates weren't actually that high. The highest were around 70%. That's not all that high really. I'm surprised only 70% of people agreed that a given chimp was aggressive.
3) They then added the correlations of all descriptors in each category - so the really basic terms like 'aggressive' get lumped in with the far more 'human' terms such as 'manipulative'. Then the broad category within the 'Big 5' gets an overall correlation score, massively skewed by the basic animal ones that could be applies to ants as much as chimps.

Basically it's not a very good study.
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Elessar » Wed May 23, 2012 4:13 pm

Just to be clear, it's the equivalent of getting a psychic to guess the outcome of 9 football matches where the outcome was obvious, and 1 where it could have gone either way, and then saying the psychic is 90% accurate. Dodgy.
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Belle Leisha » Wed May 23, 2012 4:27 pm

Yeah, I mean to be fair everything involved in the study is listed so it's an entirely honest study that isn't claiming anything it hasn't actually found, there's no wild extrapolation. It's just that it doesn't really tell us anything. A chimp who isn't "aggressive" probably wouldn't last very long. When a chimp gets aggressive for no apparent reason, possibly because it's had one pint too many and has decided another chimp gave him a dirty look, then that would count as human characteristics. :P
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Elessar » Wed May 23, 2012 5:54 pm

Belle Leisha wrote:Yeah, I mean to be fair everything involved in the study is listed so it's an entirely honest study that isn't claiming anything it hasn't actually found, there's no wild extrapolation. It's just that it doesn't really tell us anything. A chimp who isn't "aggressive" probably wouldn't last very long. When a chimp gets aggressive for no apparent reason, possibly because it's had one pint too many and has decided another chimp gave him a dirty look, then that would count as human characteristics. :P


Wakefield's paper was entirely honest! (well, apart from all the horribly dishonest things he did)
The problem with papers like this is they're an open invitation for newspapers to jump to silly conclusions.

There are two types of people. Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data,
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Belle Leisha » Wed May 23, 2012 6:09 pm

Elessar wrote:
Belle Leisha wrote:Yeah, I mean to be fair everything involved in the study is listed so it's an entirely honest study that isn't claiming anything it hasn't actually found, there's no wild extrapolation. It's just that it doesn't really tell us anything. A chimp who isn't "aggressive" probably wouldn't last very long. When a chimp gets aggressive for no apparent reason, possibly because it's had one pint too many and has decided another chimp gave him a dirty look, then that would count as human characteristics. :P


Wakefield's paper was entirely honest! (well, apart from all the horribly dishonest things he did)
The problem with papers like this is they're an open invitation for newspapers to jump to silly conclusions.

There are two types of people. Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data,


:lol: Oh, wow, nerdy laugh. :P

Wakefield's paper was deliberately misleading though, he extrapolated from ludicrously incomplete data, knowing very well that his study was more than a little bit insufficient and unethical and that his conclusions could not be backed up by his study.

Newspapers will reach mad conclusions either way though, because they want sensation. At least the study is included, people can check and see how valuable it is for themselves. It might be a bit optimistic to imagine everyone will and that no one will now decided chimps are just like humans, but at least it's not dangerous misinterpretation. In fact if it gives people another reason to think animals should be treated better, good.
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