Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Thomas R. Zentall, Cognitive dissonance or contrast?


Deciding between rival accounts of an instance of an animal’s behavior can frequently be achieved by experimental tests of different predictions made by the alternatives. When, however, one (or both) of the alternatives is expressed in terms of the mental state of the animal, an experimental test to distinguish them can be hard to find. Although it is unsatisfactory in many ways, it may be necessary to fall back on argument from analogy with human behavior and experience.

Author Biography

Geoffrey Hall is Emeritus Professor at the University of York, UK, and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He has served as Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, and of Learning & Behavior. His primary research interest is in the interaction of perceptual and associative mechanisms in animal learning.