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Sign of empathy: Bonobos comfort friends in distress

Sign of empathy: Bonobos comfort friends in distress | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Bonobos display consolation behavior, a sign of sensitivity to the emotions of others and the ability to take the perspective of another.

 

Comforting a friend or relative in distress may be a more hard-wired behavior than previously thought, according to a new study of bonobos, which are great apes known for their empathy and close relation to humans and chimpanzees. This provides key evolutionary insight into how critical social skills may develop in humans. The results were published by the journal PLOS One.

 

Researchers from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, observed juvenile bonobos at the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo engaging in consolation behavior more than their adult counterparts. Juvenile bonobos (3 to 7 years old) are equivalent in age to preschool or elementary school-aged children.

 

By Lisa Newbern

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Gail Rogers's curator insight, February 10, 2013 12:08 PM

Bonobos are not robotic - but then, they don´t use social media!

Giuliano Cipollari's curator insight, February 16, 2013 8:00 AM

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Empathy and Animals
International News and Information about Empathy and Compassion with, by and for Animals - for more see: CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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To Empathy Cafe Magazine Front Page

To Empathy Cafe Magazine Front Page | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Empathy Cafe Magazine Front Page


Visit the individual magazines specifically for empathy and;

*   Main Page All
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*   Self-Empathy & Self-Compassion
*   Teaching - Learning
*   Work 

*   etc.


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Nature Behind Bars: Animal Class Helps Prisoners Find Compassion

Nature Behind Bars: Animal Class Helps Prisoners Find Compassion | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Professor Marc Bekoff teaches a popular animal behavior course at the Boulder County Jail, which has helped some inmates bond with the natural world—and ultimately reconnect to society.


How do you think the class affects them?

They get excited over the animal videos, and love talking about pets and wild animals—it softens them. It gives them the chance to discuss the importance of social relationships and compassion and empathy.


They find common ground. And it connects them to the outside world and to nature. I've had the most violent guys say what a positive effect the class had on him. One said talking about dog behavior helped him realize he needs to extend more compassion to humans. Researchers refer to animals as "social catalysts" when they help people connect and reconnect in this way.

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Rats Feel Empathy? Rodent Psychology: Study Shows Rats Will Do What it Takes to Save Their Mates

Rats Feel Empathy? Rodent Psychology: Study Shows Rats Will Do What it Takes to Save Their Mates | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Empathy is a human trait, but it isn't unique to humans. Our closest relatives, primates, will help each other out. Elephants bury their dead and giraffe moms who lost a calf are often flanked with other giraffe females during her time of grief. So, how far down the food chain does this trait go?


We prefer not to think about rats as related to us, but our common ancestor might have been around a few millions of years ago, according to the BBC. They aren't that much like us... but a new study shows that rats will save their rat buddies from drowning.

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Rats will save their friends from drowning: new finding suggests that these rodents feel empathy

Rats will save their friends from drowning: new finding suggests that these rodents feel empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

If one rat is drowning, another will step in to save it. The new finding suggests that these rodents feel empathy


The rats therefore engage in helpful "prosocial behaviour" even if there was no apparent reward. Saving a distressed rat was valuable to them.

Past experience played a role too. If the saviour rat had had a similar near-death experience, it was much quicker to help....


Published in the journal Animal Cognition, the research suggests that rats may have empathy, and that they recognise the suffering of others and want to alleviate it.

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Proof - Rats Have More Empathy Then the GOP

For more information on the stories we've covered visit our websites at thomhartmann.com - freespeech.org - and RT.com. You can also watch tonight's show on Hulu - at Hulu.com/THE BIG PICTURE and over at The Big Picture YouTube page. 

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Larry Glover's curator insight, May 15, 11:36 AM

Interesting reflections from Thom Hartmann on the recent rat research demonstrating capacities for 'empathy' in the little creatures. Empathetically, rats may be demonstrating more innate intelligence than certain political interests who place narrow self-interest above the wellbeing of less fortunate.

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How Showing Compassion for Animals Can Improve Your Health

How Showing Compassion for Animals Can Improve Your Health | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The effects of compassion are far reaching and have been shown to have benefits for physical as well as psychological health. A wealth of evidence demonstrates that social support, when humans connect in a meaningful way with other people or animals, helps in the recovery from illness as well as promoting increased levels of mental and physical well-being.

Evidence from studies mentioned in the previous blog suggests that interventions can lead to reduced depressive symptoms and feelings of isolation, improvements in positive emotions, psychological well-being, hopefulness, optimism, social connection, life satisfaction, and, of specific interest to this paper –  compassion....

Cultivating compassion for all living beings and practicing a compassionate lifestyle can, therefore, help boost social connection and also improve physical and mental health. 

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Do sheep really care? Massey University study reveals feelings of empathy in sheep

Do sheep really care? Massey University study reveals feelings of empathy in sheep | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Massey University PhD student Mirjam Guesgen has spent three years studying whether sheep feel empathy. 

Guesgen said the idea of animals feeling empathy and pain was a relatively new area of research, but she was interested in the social and psychological aspects of animals.

"We can just ask someone, we look at their outward expression. 
"Why do animals show pain at all?"
And because there are routine husbandry practices involving pain, like docking, sheep were a good animal to start looking to for answers. 


THOMAS HEATON

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Kids who grow up with dogs and cats are more emotionally intelligent and compassionate

Kids who grow up with dogs and cats are more emotionally intelligent and compassionate | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
1. Compassion: According to this overview of the scientific literature by Nienke Endenburg and Ben Baarda in The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interaction, 


"If there are pets in the house, parents and children frequently share in taking care of the pet, which suggests that youngsters learn at an early age how to care for and nurture a dependent animal." Even very young children can contribute to the care and feeding of a pet — a 3-year-old can take a bowl of food and set it on the floor for a cat, and at the same age, a child can be taught to stroke an animal nicely, maybe using the back of the hand so they don't grab the animal. Supervising kids during the first few interactions is a teaching moment.


Later, once they have learned the ropes, their memory and understanding of a life outside themselves will be stimulated each time they interact with the animals. Older kids can be responsible for walking a dog or playing with it in the yard, cleaning out a cat's litter box, or taking veggie scraps from dinner to a rabbit or hamster.


A study of 3- to 6-year-olds found that kids with pets had more empathy towards other animals and human beings, while another study found that even just having an animal in a classroom made fourth-graders more compassionate. 

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Lon Woodbury's curator insight, April 29, 11:50 PM

I have heard the claim, especially by equine therapists, that "the horse is the therapist."  I think that applies to virtually all dependent creatures that children (and adults) interact with..  I heard a cute story that dogs were sent to earth to deliver the message of peace.  The dogs ate the message, but are still trying to deliver it. :) -Lon 

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How your children can benefit from owning a pet

How your children can benefit from owning a pet | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
A dog, cat, guinea pig or iguana can be a child's best friend in ways you might not expect. Research shows how pets can benefit a child's physical and emotional well-being.


It's easy to see how pets can teach children responsibility. A child as young as 3 can be responsible for giving pets water, and older children can take on tasks like walking the dog.


"Accomplishing tasks appropriate to their age, when taking care of the pet with their parents, makes a child feel more competent," according to child development experts Nienke Endenburg and Ben Baarda.
In addition to increasing self-efficacy, having pets can develop a child's relationship skills, especially empathy, The Washington Post reported. "The reason is obvious: Caring for a pet draws a self-absorbed child away from himself or herself."


Marsha Maxwell, 

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Everything you think you know about animals is wrong: How science is forcing us to reconsider the twin myths of human superiority and dumb creatures

Everything you think you know about animals is wrong: How science is forcing us to reconsider the twin myths of human superiority and dumb creatures | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Human beings are the most intelligent, and therefore important, of all the world´s species, right?


We deserve our superior status over other animals because of the following scientific truths: that only humans are self-aware and feel empathy, that we are unique in our abilities to use language and tools, that only we can recognize ourselves in a mirror and understand the passing of time.

But advances in cognitive ethology (the scientific study of animal intelligence, emotions, behaviors, and social life) have now disproved these ´truths´, showing that many other creatures also display a complex range of emotions, highly evolved communication skills, compassion for others, and even intelligence that rivals- or surpasses- our own. These ground-breaking studies force us to ask some uncomfortable questions about our place in the world, and have caused leading experts to call for a radical rethink of the way we treat other animals...


Some of the most heart-warming tales of expressive love and empathy come from the great apes, our closest relatives. Moral philosopher Mark Rowlands recounts the following:

By: Sophie McAdam,

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Therapists gather in Utah for training on equestrian techniques: Therapists said horses have a sense of empathy

Therapists gather in Utah for training on equestrian techniques: Therapists said horses have a sense of empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

 A unique form of therapy involving four-legged companions is growing in popularity, and recently therapists from around the nation gathered in Farmington to learn more about the benefits of using horses in therapy....


Thrap now helps veterans suffering from PTSD. Therapists said horses have a sense of empathy.


“They’re uniquely wired to be aware of their surroundings and to interact with their surroundings in a way that harnesses their intuition, and so they’re just very sensitive beings,” Kaschel said

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Why Do Dogs Yawn? The Neuroscience Of Empathy

Why Do Dogs Yawn? The Neuroscience Of Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

We certainly need to do more research into the MNS in dogs. We need to get Greg Burns to invite his FMRI trained dogs back into the lab and see how their Brodmann’s area responds to con-specific and hetero-specific contagious yawning and empathy type behaviour.


This MNS has motor respresentation which could explain certain imitation behaviours particularly those rooted in survival mechanisms. Perception of another animals emotional state and being able to mentalize other peoples behaviour is shown to activate BA9. This gives rise to motor empathy and then this develops into cognitive empathy as we grow and develop. Then, higher cognitive functions come into play (dogs do not develop much past a two years old- The Goldsmith Study on Emotional Contagion was originally designed for young children). So Contagious yawning is really just a functional substrate of empathy. Why is it, that animals yawn when there are no other beings around? Perhaps only its root lies in social signalling, I guess people talk to themselves when no-one is around!

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Extending Empathy to Non-Human Animals

Extending Empathy to Non-Human Animals | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The ideologies of slavery that kept human beings classified as property for hundreds of years continue to be used today to oppress non-human animals. Does this statement make you uncomfortable?...


As humans, we can only directly relate to what it’s like to be human – and sometimes even that is incredibly difficult — but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.


Our ability to empathize allows us to have compassion for people who are suffering; extending that compassion to non-human animals, whether we have definitive proof of their emotions or not, is the more humane choice.

Jessie Huart Sullivan

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Rats Feel Empathy? Rodent Psychology: Study Shows Rats Will Do What it Takes to Save Their Mates

Rats Feel Empathy? Rodent Psychology: Study Shows Rats Will Do What it Takes to Save Their Mates | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Empathy is a human trait, but it isn't unique to humans. Our closest relatives, primates, will help each other out. Elephants bury their dead and giraffe moms who lost a calf are often flanked with other giraffe females during her time of grief. So, how far down the food chain does this trait go?


We prefer not to think about rats as related to us, but our common ancestor might have been around a few millions of years ago, according to the BBC. They aren't that much like us... but a new study shows that rats will save their rat buddies from drowning.

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The science of rat empathy and what it tells us about human kindness

The science of rat empathy and what it tells us about human kindness | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
But as Discovery magazine reported, there is one thing rats do seem to really care about: each other.


Some scientists ran an experiment to demonstrate that. Here's how it worked:


  1. The scientists put a rat in water (which rats hate). Not enough to hurt the rat, but enough to annoy it.
  2. Then they put another rat in a safer, dry area with a door it could open to save the first rat.


by Adam Mordecai

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Study: Rats demonstrate helping behavior toward a soaked conspecific

Study: Rats demonstrate helping behavior toward a soaked conspecific | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Helping behavior is a prosocial behavior whereby an individual helps another irrespective of disadvantages to him or herself. In the present study, we exained whether rats would help distressed, conspecific rats that had been soaked with water. In Experiment 1, rats quickly learned to liberate a soaked cagemate from the water area by opening the door to allow the trapped rat into a safe area.


These results suggest that rats can behave prosocially and that helper rats may be motivated by empathy-like feelings toward their distressed cagemate.

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Proof - Rats Have More Empathy Then the GOP

For more information on the stories we've covered visit our websites at thomhartmann.com - freespeech.org - and RT.com. You can also watch tonight's show on Hulu - at Hulu.com/THE BIG PICTURE and over at The Big Picture YouTube page. 

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Larry Glover's curator insight, May 15, 11:36 AM

Interesting reflections from Thom Hartmann on the recent rat research demonstrating capacities for 'empathy' in the little creatures. Empathetically, rats may be demonstrating more innate intelligence than certain political interests who place narrow self-interest above the wellbeing of less fortunate.

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Rats forsake chocolate to save a drowning companion: the rodents feel empathy.

Rats forsake chocolate to save a drowning companion:  the rodents feel empathy. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

We’ve all heard how rats will abandon a sinking ship. But will the rodents attempt to save their companions in the process? A new study shows that rats will, indeed, rescue their distressed pals from the drink—even when they’re offered chocolate instead.


They’re also more likely to help when they’ve had an unpleasant swimming experience of their own, adding to growing evidence that the rodents feel empathy.


By Emily Underwood 


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Brenda Robinson's curator insight, May 13, 9:54 PM

Hon. Liz Sandals: Introduce a new course called "COMPASSION" for Grade 1 and Grade 12. https://www.change.org/p/hon-liz-sandals-introduce-a-new-course-called-compassion-for-grade-1-and-grade-12

Larry Glover's curator insight, May 15, 11:31 AM

Our empathy, like our resilience, is part of a deep tap root of the Tree of Life itself. And in the case of this research, demonstrating our belonging, with all our other than human relations, to this very Tree.

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Do Dogs Have Empathy for Human Stress and Discomfort?

Do Dogs Have Empathy for Human Stress and Discomfort? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

It is certainly the case that hearing a baby cry can be quite distressing to humans. We respond to the sound with increased attention, namely we get up and check on the crying child. Our body also responds to this sound in another way — specifically by releasing the stress hormone cortisol. This emotionally based stress response happens regardless of our age, parenting experience, or gender. Both the mother and daughter that I observed seemed to assume that dogs are wired to react in the same way that people do when they hear a baby cry, but is this true? A recent study published in the journal Behavioural Processes* suggests that this might in fact that is be the case....


Whether what we are seeing in dogs in this case is true empathy or not, it is another example of the fact that dogs do pay attention to human feelings.


Furthermore these new data tend to confirm other observations that the emotional responses of dogs tends to reflect the moods that they observe in the people around them.  

Stanley Coren

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Animal rights: Think outside the cage

Animal rights: Think outside the cage | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Experts are telling us what anyone with common sense already knew in their hearts: animals have empathy; they are social and loyal; they grieve and mourn their dead; and they feel pain and suffer.


Is it possible for Reno residents to look through the eyes of an animal, show empathy and compassion, and think out of the cage? If so, we can begin to address several animal rights issues here in our own backyard.

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Why People Care More About Pets Than Other Humans | WIRED

Why People Care More About Pets Than Other Humans | WIRED | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
The subjects in the experiment did not know the articles were bogus. Nor did they know that there were actually four slightly different versions of the newspaper articles, each portraying a different victim: a puppy, an adult dog, a human infant, or a human adult. After they read one of the four news stories, each subject completed a scale which measured how much empathy and emotional distress they felt for the victim of the beating.

Arluke and Levin reported the results of their study at the 2013 meeting of the American Sociological Association. As you might guess, the story in which the victim was a human adult elicited, by far, the lowest levels of emotional distress in the readers.


The “winner” when it came to evoking empathy was not the puppy but the human infant. The puppy, however, came in a close second with the adult dog not far behind.


Arluke and Levin concluded that species is important when it comes to generating sympathy with the downtrodden. But they argued that the critical difference in responses to the stories was based on our special concern for creatures that are innocent and defenseless.


by HAL HERZOG

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Pets Help Teach Kids Empathy

Pets Help Teach Kids Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

One of the cornerstones of EQ is empathy, which should be taught and modeled starting in early childhood. A variety of research in the U.S. and Britain, including by the late psychologist Robert Poresky of Kansas State University, has shown a correlation between attachment to a pet and higher empathy scores.


The reason is obvious: Caring for a pet draws a self-absorbed child away from himself or herself.


Empathy also involves the ability to read nonverbal cues — facial expressions, body language, gestures — and pets offer nothing but nonverbal cues. Hearing a kitten yowl when it wants to eat or seeing a dog run to the door when it wants to go outside get kids to think, “What are their needs, and what can I do to help?”


By Denise Daniels

image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog

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Want to raise empathetic kids? Get them a dog.

Want to raise empathetic kids? Get them a dog. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

By Denise Daniels 


....pets can be invaluable at teaching families, especially children, “emotional intelligence,” or EQ—a measure of empathy and the ability to understand and connect with others.


More than intelligence, EQ is the best indicator of a child’s likely success in school. In fact, kindergarten teachers have reported that EQ is more important than the ability to read or hold a pencil. And unlike IQ, which is fixed at birth, EQ can grow and be nurtured, and what better way than with a loving pet who is a gift to the whole family?


Here are five ways in which pets can help children develop their EQ.

  • By developing empathy...
  • By teaching responsibility and boosting self-esteem...
  • By reducing stress...
  • By helping a child learn to read...
  • By helping children express their emotions....
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Helping your child develop animal empathy

Helping your child develop animal empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Shane Jordan, an Education Environmental Practitioner and a qualified Early Years Practitioner, explains the importance of young children developing empathy towards animals and how to provide nurturing experiences for them to be able to do so: 

To understand that nature exists in our own backyards and neighbourhoods can be a very fascinating experience for children. You can read to a child about nature and tell them to appreciate the animals and the trees in the natural world, but unless they physically interact with it themselves they will never truly learn. Environmental Education (EE) is such a necessary part of learning, especially in a child’s early learning years.
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Pedegru's curator insight, March 31, 9:35 AM

We all need to develop more empathy but this is an excellent article about how we can start with our children! http://www.pedegru.com/discussion-topic/pets-may-help-cut-heart-disease-risk-american-heart-association