Australia's world-leading assessment services organisation


Clever Hans

Name of a German horse reputed to have advanced skills in arithmetic. In fact, Hans was responding (cleverly) to very subtle and UNCONSCIOUS cues from his trainer about when to start 'counting' by pawing the ground, and when to stop.

Clever Hans is symptomatic of the anthropomorphism that has plagued the study ofPSYCHOLOGY since man first began to domesticate animals and was struck by some of their apparently human responses. This PHENOMENON has become more complex with the attention being paid to the ROLE of language in thought. Some psychologists have been struck by the apparently human linguistic abilities of chimps. Though this claim is harder to disprove than the case of Clever Hans, there is no clear evidence that chimps, or any other animals, have anything remotely approaching the linguistic and intellectual understanding or creativity of humans.

See also EXPERIMENTER BIAS, ROSENTHAL EFFECT and SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY for other examples of the same kind of phenomenon.

Small & Medium Business

  • Trial packs for small jobs
  • Pay as you go
  • Tailored to unique roles
  • Feedback on test results
  • No set up fees

Large Businesses

  • Volume discounts
  • Real-time results
  • 7 Day Support
  • Candidate ranking
  • Easily scalable
Enquire Now!

20 Years Leading