in a Name?
you begin: Write down your opinion to this question:
you think scientists should name the animals they study?
a list of qualities that come to mind when you see or hear each of these
images do these "names" paint in your minds?
your personal experiences and memories affect the images these labels
brought to mind?
How much do the images you see really tell you about an individual?
Again: How did this exercise help you look differently at
the question: Do you think scientists should name the animals they
This: We often make assumptions about others' feelings,
personalities, and intentions based on how WE see the world;
that is, we make subjective interpretations. Objective interpretations
are based on numbers and facts from what has been carefully
observed and measured. Names and labels can reinforce subjective interpretations.
Names and labels also create pictures in our minds that
influence our thoughts and feelings about other individuals,
human or nonhuman.
Scientists Avoid Giving Names to Animals They Study
Scientists must keep an open mind. They must make
precise observations and carefully gather data. In
order to interpret,
and draw conclusions about what they see, scientists must
be objective. They must not let subjective feelings
or opinions influence them. This could be difficult if
they gave names to animals they study. They may be more
likely to interpret behaviors
a subjective "human" lens
influenced by their own feelings and memories and ideas.