man, parrots are stupid

June 12, 2006 at 10:16 pm | | literature, nerd

Andrew sent me a cool paper (although his version had some humorous typos). The idea was to ask some parrots to count and add numbers. The birds—Alex and Griffin—hadn’t been explictly trained in this practice.


The results: Parrots are as stupid as children. Man, just look at all the stupid mistakes those bird-brains made:


OK, it got that 4+2=6, but it thought 5+0=6. Idiot. Even I know that the correct answer is 5. Oh, and here’s my favorite part:

Of interest was that these experiments were unplanned. My students and I had begun a sequential auditory number session (training to respond to, for example, three computer-generated clicks with the vocal label “three”) with another bird, Griffin, in the standard manner, by saying “Listen,” clicking (this time, twice), and then asking “Griffin, how many?” Because Griffin refused to answer, we replicated the trial. Alex, who often interrupts
Griffin’s sessions with phrases like “Talk clearly” or who occasionally answers even though he is not part of the procedure, said “four.” I told him to be quiet, assuming that his vocalization was not intentional. We then replicated the trial yet again with Griffin, who remained silent; Alex now said “six.” I thus decided to replicate the Boysen and Berntson (1989) study […]

I mean, Griffin was so stupid that even his parrot friend had to tell him to speak clearly. And anyway, it’s “speak clearer,” you stupid parrot. Gosh.


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  1. BTW, the Boysen and Berntson study was with a chimp:
    Boysen, S. T., & Berntson, G. G. (1989). Numerical competence in a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 103, 23–31.

    Comment by sam — June 12, 2006 #

  2. Wow…. my good name is ruined.

    Comment by Griffin — June 16, 2006 #

  3. What a moronic blog. You are at the very lower end of the intelligence spectrum for humans.

    Comment by gp — December 9, 2006 #

  4. thanks, gp.

    Comment by sam — December 10, 2006 #

  5. If parrots are stupid then I don’t know what to believe in anymore.

    Comment by Organic Chemistry — January 19, 2007 #

  6. […] Cool, are you going to make him as smart? […]

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  7. […] really know the difference between spite and venge; I’m a human, so I’m full of both. Stupid monkeys don’t even know how to spite others! They probably don’t hate the gays, […]

    Pingback by Everyday Scientist » monkey hard---with a vengeance — July 25, 2007 #

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