The Use of Differences and Similarities in Comparative Psychopathology

  • R. A. Hinde


In any symposium concerned with the relevance of animal data to man, a biologist is inevitably ambivalent. Since his science is unified by the theory of evolution by natural selection, he must hold that there are or have been continuities between animals and man—a view that is reinforced as more and more similarities at the molecular and biochemical levels are revealed. But at the same time, much of a biologist’s training is concerned with the nature of species differences. He has learned how even closely related species are adapted to different enviornments, and how the resulting differences are superimposed on broad phyletic changes of a more fundamental nature, including differences in complexity of organization (e.g., Schneirla, 1949). The awareness of adaptation and consequent diversity has caused him to have reservations about the psychologist’s search for a comprehensive theory of behavior (Hinde & Stevenson-Hinde, 1973; Seligman & Hager, 1972), and to doubt the simplistic belief that the capacities of higher organisms can be understood directly in terms of more elementary functions (Schneirla, 1949). Thus, a biologist’s training promotes awareness both of the continuities and of the differences between animals and man.


Rhesus Monkey Human Case Separation Experience Free Environment Bonnet Macaque 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Hinde
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Unit on the Development and Integration of BehaviourUniversity Sub-Department of Animal BehaviourMadingley, CambridgeEngland

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