Science

Dogs Keep Malice When Their Keepers Are Rude, New Study Says

By Charles Omedo , Feb 13, 2017 02:42 AM EST
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Dogs are man's best furry friends, but apart from the known facts that they are very social and intelligent, dogs have constantly shown that they are very sentimental and even emotional. Now a new study has proven that dogs and monkeys react negatively when people around them are mean and antisocial in any given way.

In a study published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, a team of scientists from Kyoto University in Japan conducted a series of tests with dogs and monkeys to establish that animal pets have a sense of morality by which they judge their owners and others around them - a fact that has already been established in young human infants.

Scientists conduct a social experiment with dogs and monkeys

James Anderson, an animal behavior researcher at Kyoto University and the leader of the team asked his team to put on a show where the real owner of a dog is seen trying unsuccessfully to open a can, Yahoo reports. Frustrated, he then asks three passersby for help to open the can. In one scenario, one of the passersby gladly helps to open the can. In the second scenario, the second passerby refuses to help with the can. In the third scenario, the third passerby is just passive and neither helped nor refused.

After the passersby had either helped with the can or refused, they turn to the dogs and offer a treat. The dogs accepted the treat offered by the passerby that helped their owners, but shunned and ignored the treat offered by the one that refused to help or remained passive. The same experiment was carried out on monkeys and the researchers observed the same proven pattern to show that pets get mean when people around them become jerks.

Pets have a sense of right or wrong

The comparative psychologists stated that the experiments showed dogs and monkeys among other pets possess a sense of what is morally right or wrong and respond appropriately to it. The study also shows that pets can become more sensitive to human behavior because of their long standing relationships with people - meaning that pets like to spend time with nice people but shun bad people things, Metro clarified.

Frans de Waal of Emory University commended the study by stating that it proves the idea that people desire to do good on account of being watched or noticed by others, since "human morality is very much based on reputation building."

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