Alex and me

Author Pepperberg, Irene
ISBN 978-0-06-167398-6
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Review

I’m an enormous fan of Dr. Pepperberg’s work, in part because I love parrots; in part because I am fascinated by nonhuman intelligence. In terms of scientific work, this book presents more conclusions than it does evidence—but this is not a flaw: This is the “human side”, as it were, to the much more rigorous The Alex Studies, which (I believe) essentially summarises the even more rigorous scientific papers she has published. Still it was far from a dull read, and it exposed more of Alex’s intelligence than the earlier book had—some of a speculative nature, but presented honestly and credibly. I also found the contrast of Pepperberg’s adoption of model/rival training to Skinnerian behaviorist methods illuminating (and slightly horrifying, when I learned more about the latter training!).

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