In the realm of animal behavior little attention is paid to the study of an animal's motivations behind its actions. Pure instinct is assumed in almost all cases excluding the very upper echelon of mammals.
I prefer to use the concepts of Loose and Tight Consciousness. By this I mean the amount of data processed by the "conscious" operations of the brain. If one is to assume the evolutionary theory that consciousness in animals is, like most things, a spectrum, then one could easily argue the condition of an "adaptive consciousness." Where as human development required a very large amount of data to be processed by the "conscious mind", a different animal might be far better adapted having much less universal content to process in their personal narrative of beinghood.
If we are to assume that every animal has some level of conscious narrative, then we can split it into at least two groups, the "loose" consciousness and the "tight" consciousness. A tight consciousness would be seen as having a very small, very egocentric personal narrative. A minimal amount of data from the outside universe is taken into account, and a narrative is formed in which all information relates directly to the individual.
However, in a loose consciousness, when an individual's position relative to a culture is seen as important information, the brain develops to handle more universal information to put the larger picture in perspective. A loose consciousness realizes that not all things it perceives directly pertains to it, and thus is better suited to its environment of a social culture.
I hold that all animals have some level of actual consciousness and that by studying an animal's behavior one can learn and understand that individual’s personal narrative, thus being able to relate to the creature as an individual and not merely as one of its species, as well as gaining far more information about inter-species transactions then current techniques in animal behavior studies allow.