Click following link to check out a collection of classic articles that all psychology students should read.

Psychology Classics On Amazon

Psychology Classics

Why Can I Ask Why?

by Jim Palmer
(Seattle, WA)

Photo Credit: StormPetrel1

Photo Credit: StormPetrel1

Why do I have self consciousness or am aware of self? In the grand scheme of the universe, what is it's purpose? If no other creature has the ability to "ask the big questions" then why as a species do we?

Comments for Why Can I Ask Why?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 12, 2011
by: Anonymous

No one knows why this is, some say its because our brains are more developed while others argue down the road of religion.

In response to Shinsu's comment on self awareness, there is actually a self awareness test (although its accuracy is debatable). You may notice that animals appear not to recognise themselves in mirrors - this is a sign of the lack of self awareness. Some animals, such as dolphins and chimps, actually display signs of self awareness as they recognise themselves in the mirror. Monkeys even go as far as examining parts of themselves. Of course it can be argued that we don't know what these animals are really thinking, and whether the other animals lack self awareness or if they simply do not grasp that branch of the laws of physics.

As for the question of why we can question the grandeur or things, that's a very difficult thing to answer. I personally believe it's linked to our intelligence levels and not necessarily psychology. As we learn more, we see more things that we don't have the answers for. Memory may also play a role in this - you can't really expect the 3-second memory of a goldfish to allow it to question 'why'.

Oct 22, 2010
by: Shinsu

Well really we don't know if and what other creatures have a sense of self awareness. And if you notice, some human's self awareness go to a much greater extent than other human's self awareness.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Psychology Q & A.