Estimation of animal intelligence by university students in Japan and the United States

Sadahiko Nakajima, Kohki Arimitsu, K. Matthew Lattal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Japanese and American university students rated the intelligence of 56 animals relative to that of humans. In general, American students (n=104) rated animal intelligence higher than did Japanese students (n=235), and females rated intelligence higher than did males. In spite of these differences among groups, the general patterns of ratings were almost identical: The correlation coefficients of the male-female comparisons were 0.99 in both countries, and the coefficients of Japan-US comparisons in male and female groups were 0.95 and 0.96, respectively The intelligence ratings generally corresponded to the so-called "phylogenetic scale" from amoeba to chimpanzee, with several exceptions. The implications of these findings for the cross-cultural analysis of perceptions of animal mentality are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-205
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal intelligence
  • Attitudes
  • Folk psychology
  • Lay theories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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