Monday, June 24, 2019

Hans The Counting Horse

In the case of Hans, a German horse who was world famous for his "counting ability" it seemed very plausible that animals, just like humans could count. Just as this may have seemed the case, it is true that only humans can understand numerosity or the ability to understand the quantity of an item. Hans would be asked questions like "what is 3 plus 5?" and in response Hans would tap his hoof eight total times to answer the question. Upon seeing this many became amazed with the ability of Hans, however, some because skeptical as well. Upon further examination it was found that Hans the horse could not actually count, instead he was understand cues. Hans had learned that once asked a question to begin tapping his hoof. Hans would do this until the person who asked him the question physical features changed in response to Hans tapping his hoof the correct amount of times. As a result of continuously learning this, there were also limitations to when Hans would do this act. If Hans could not see the person asking the question or if the person who asked the question did not know the questions answer, Hans would be unable to "answer" this questions correctly or at all.

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