Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

“Clever Hans”: Involuntary and Unconscious Cueing

  • Norbert M. SeelEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_1735



Cueing has different definitions in different contexts. Here, the definition is limited to the context of responding to externally provided stimuli. Cueing is another name for “foldback,” which is a process used to return a signal to a performer instantly. Cueing is achieved via prompts, signals, hints or, more generally, cues, which include anything that is connected in some way to information to be processed and which prompts its retrieval. This entry refers to the story of “Clever Hans,” which can serve as a splendid example of involuntary and unconscious cueing.

Theoretical Background

Involuntary and unconscious cueing can be illustrated by referring to the story of Clever Hans from the end of the nineteenth century. Clever Hans was an Arab stallion from Russia. His owner, Wilhelm von Osten, a retired schoolmaster, was convinced that animals possess an intelligence comparable to that of humans. After many unsuccessful...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany