When I studied Animal Psychology at University a thousand years ago (ok… 40), the last expert word on animal empathy was that it did not exist, other than through our anthropomorphization of our animal friends. Those who have lived with dogs have always known differently, and are now vindicated by SCIENCE! Take that, American Psychology Association, and your various scholarly publications too!
Phys.org has a compelling article that suggests this is no longer the last scientific word on the subject. – cpaul
“The idea that animals can experience love was once anathema to the psychologists who studied them, seen as a case of putting sentimentality before scientific rigor.
But a new book argues that, when it comes to dogs, the word is necessary to understanding what has made the relationship between humans and our best friends one of the most significant interspecies partnerships in history.
Clive Wynne, founder the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University, makes the case in “Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You.”
The animal psychologist, 59, began studying dogs in the early 2000s, and, like his peers, believed that to ascribe complex emotions to them was to commit the sin of anthropomorphism—until he was swayed by a body evidence that was growing too big to ignore.
“I think there comes a point when it’s worth being skeptical of your skepticism,” the Englishman said in an interview with AFP.
Canine science has enjoyed a resurgence in the past two decades, much of it extolling dogs’ smarts.
Titles like “The Genius of Dogs” by Brian Hare have advanced the idea that dogs have an innate and exceptional intelligence.
Wynne, however plays spoilsport, arguing that Fido is just not that brilliant.”
Read the rest here