I am in last stages of preparing a grant application: HUMAN JUDGEMENTS OF ANIMAL ACTIONS. For more than 25 years we have collected (2500!)videotapes on wolves and other creatures. I have been fascinated by the wide range of ways that people score and interpret these tapes - thus the grant. Our goal is to combine initial attitudes with perceptions of the dynamics of wolf-wolf interactions. We have the capability of entering videotape frames into a computer for subsequent abstractions of movement, playbacks, etc. One hope is to determine precisely what cues that people use when they say, for example, that wolf is "playing" or "fighting". I do this from the bias that human observers are always biased! We are not mere cameras photographing the world the way it is.
But, I do not know of systematic studies of these issues (sort of a mobile projective test). I often chuckle at the characterization of ethologists as suffering from "The Fallacy of Immaculate Perception", and would like to explore such issues further. Anyone interested? Any ideas, references, etc.?
Thanks, and happy ethologogizing.