Researchers are attempting to determine the true intelligence of an animal (compared to humans) through three categories. Fist they plan on looking at emotions, for example in chimps do they react to dramatic TV scenes staring other chimps. Then they plan on looking at self-recognition by seeing if they can recognize themselves in a mirror, currently only humans, apes and dolphins display this ability. Finally they will look at language and study how different animals communicate when there is imposed danger.
There are a variety of tests, such as mazes, that test intelligence in a laboratory setting. These are not conducted in isolation, though, and are usually tested in combination with field experiments and observations of the animals’ behavior in their natural environment (or something close to it). The way they interact with each other is a good indicator of intelligence, as is introducing a foreign object and seeing how they interact with it (to make sure they have inteligence beyond associative learning). The mirror test, which sees if the animal has self-recognition, is another way to determine intelligence.
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