What Makes Us Uniquely Human? Essay

2300 Words Nov 17th, 2016 10 Pages
Throughout the history of the science of psychology, researchers, clinicians, and theorists have all attempted to answer the question “what makes us uniquely human?” It is obvious to the untrained observer of nature how humans are different from other mammals in the animal kingdom: humans can think rationally and logically, have feelings and emotions, develop more slowly than any other mammal, and are able to work together on a massive scale to form sprawling civilizations. When one steps back and looks at the bigger picture, most of what makes us human all boils down to the fact that humans are self-aware. Being self-aware is more than simply being consciousness, or being alert and oriented in the environment. Every mammal is conscious to a certain extent. Being self-aware, however, includes being conscious, but is expanded to being aware of oneself and one’s condition, and having a sense of ownership of oneself (Ardila, 2016). It is obvious to see how humans are different from other mammals; however, it is much more difficult to discover why. To answer the question “what makes us self-aware?”, researchers have studied the psychological aspects of self-awareness, and, from there, have made incredible neurological discoveries by studying both healthy and damaged brains that show possible brain regions and mechanisms that underlie self-awareness.
Psychological Aspects of Self-Awareness An important psychological aspect of self-awareness is executive function. Executive…

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