Maybe not what they intended. For example,
For nearly five decades, the mirror test, applied to chimpanzees, was thought to show that they were self-aware:
“In 1970 Gordon G. Gallup, Jr., of the University at Albany, S.U.N.Y., developed the “mirror test” to assess metacognition in chimpanzees. A chimp passes the test if it uses the mirror to inspect a mark that has been painted on its face. Although the majority of chimps pass, some do fail, causing certain scientists to consider the test unreliable.” – Robert O. Duncan, “What Are the Structural Differences in the Brain Between Animals That Are Self-aware and Other Vertebrates?” At Scientific American
But then in 2019, a fish, the cleaner wrasse, passed the mirror test:
When chimpanzees, dolphins, elephants, and magpies passed the test, researchers theorized that these animals, recognized as intelligent, were demonstrating a concept of “self.” Now they are not so sure. Is the cleaner wrasse, which grooms other fish for parasites, really self-aware? Are fish much smarter than we think?
Researchers have begun to question whether the mirror test truly identifies self-awareness.
Intelligence of some type can exist without apparent evidence of self-awareness. An amoeba is smarter than your computer for some purposes, as is a fruit fly but few think it likely that these life forms are self-aware as individuals. “What do animal studies tell us about human consciousness?” at Mind Matters News
Chimpanzees, dogs, cats, etc., are surely self-aware in the sense that they perceive feelings as experienced by themselves as subjects and events as happening to themselves as subjects. But lacking the ability to reason, they can’t really go beyond that to develop ideas.
Many people assume that human consciousness arose accidentally many eons ago from animal consciousness and that therefore we can find glimmers of the same sort of consciousness in the minds of animals. But that approach isn’t producing the expected results.
See also: Animal minds: In search of the minimal self
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