Comparative Psychology

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Comparative Psychology: differential psychology
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Comparative Psychology


a branch of psychology that studies both the common traits and the differences in the origin and development of human behavior and animal behavior.

The development of comparative psychology is associated with the works of J. B. Lamarck and particularly those of C. Darwin and, in Russia, of V. A. Vagner. Vagner understood the science in the widest sense, as a discipline bridging animal and human psychology. The ontogenetic or phylogenetic similarity between elements of animal and human behavior indicates common origins of their psychological evolution. The qualitative differences indicate the importance of sociohistorical factors, particularly work, social activity, and articulate speech, in the development of the human psyche and consciousness.

Comparative psychology studies forms of mental activity that are hereditary and innate (instinctive) and forms that are acquired, which are related to learning and intellectual activity. The study of primate behavior and the mode of life and man’s animal ancestors is of great importance in comparative psychology because it helps to establish the biological foundations of anthro-pogenesis. Research on the mode of life and material culture of prehistoric man (paleopsychology) has led to an understanding of his psyche as the initial form of the psyche of modern man.

The development of comparative psychology based on dialectical materialism has taken place through a struggle against idealist concepts, such as psychophysiological parallelism, and vulgar-materialist concepts, such as mechanicism and orthogenesis, which are expressed in attempts to biologize human behavior or anthropomorphize animal behavior. Comparative psychological data are of great significance in the resolution of many problems in psychology, philosophy, anthropology, medicine, and education (the genetic basis for the development of the child psyche).


Darwin, C. “Proiskhozhdenie cheloveka i polovoi otbor: Vyrazhenie emotsii u cheloveka i zhivotnykh.” Soch., vol. 5. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.
Vagner, V. A. Biologicheskie osnovaniia sravnitel’noi psikhologii, vols. 1–2. St. Petersburg-Moscow, 1910–13.
Voitonis, N. Iu. Predistoriia intellekta. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Ladygina-Kots, N. N. Predposylki chelovecheskogo myshleniia. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Maier (1900-1977) was not among the behaviorists Tolman convinced of the importance of purpose, but he made one of the most interesting attempts to hybridize theory from two different national traditions: comparative psychology in the U.S.
They outline the Big Five personality model and the history that led to it, including DarwinAEs comparative personality model, William McDougallAEs comparative psychology, and early conceptual models of personality since McDougall that departed from primary instincts and emotions, as well as a three-level Nested BrainMind Hierarchy as a means to think about emotions; evolutionary perspectives that may help understanding of the maturation of the neuromental infrastructure of humans and human personality dimensions; and personality research on chimpanzees, dogs, rats, and fish.
Del 12 al 14 de septiembre de 2012, se celebrara el XVI Congreso Bienal de la International Society for Comparative Psychology, y el XXIV Congreso de la Sociedad Espanola de Psicologia comparada en la que sera la II Reunion conjunta de ambas sociedades.
For researchers and advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level students in developmental psychology, comparative psychology, animal behavior, evolutionary psychology, and anthropology.
Which tunes the birds sing depends on whom they are hanging out with, the team reports in the September Journal of Comparative Psychology.
APA Handbook of Comparative Psychology; 2 volume set
In an approach associated with comparative psychology and behavioral analysis, we include the contribution of Vargas & Robles regarding the effect of sampling frequency on the automatic rates of activity and stillness in a Pavlovian procedure of fear conditioning; article of the highest importance for researches interested in animal learning, also regarding both its theoretical and methodological dimension.
Journal of Comparative Psychology Monographs, 1 (No.2).
Ron's dedication to comparative psychology studies was already apparent in his graduate education at Florida State University.
Comparative psychology. Evolution and development of behavior (2nd edition).
Key words: comparative psychology contemporary texts, animal psychology, sensory systems, habituation

Full browser ?