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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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Healthwise: Dog's empathy brings healing to depressed - by Valerie Minar

Healthwise: Dog's empathy brings healing to depressed  -  by Valerie Minar | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

According to Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer, researchers at Goldsmiths College in London, pet dogs show a submissive or calm behavior with a person in distress — even someone they don’t know. This suggests that canines have a greater empathy or understanding of human emotions than otherwise believed.


Marc Bekoff, author of “The Emotional Lives of Animals,” agrees. “Science has discovered a lot about the inner lives of diverse species,” he said. “We now know that animals have a point of view and that they experience deep feelings.”


===========================

Perhaps this special quality of empathy
might explain why the venues for
service dogs keeps expanding. 

=============

By Valerie Minard
 image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog

 Sub Conference: Empathy with Animals and Nature
 http://j.mp/U769Vb

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Elephants Feel Empathy and Console Each Other

Elephants Feel Empathy and Console Each Other | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Researchers find first evidence that elephants reassure others in distress. 


Asian elephants console and reassure one another when in distress through touch and vocalisation.For the first time, researchers have discovered evidence showing how the world's largest land mammals interact and build social relationships in such a way.


Joshua Plotnik, from Emory University in Atlanta, explained that consolation behaviour is rare in the animal kingdom, with previous studies showing it in a limited number of species, including canines, great apes and certain corvids.


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"For centuries, people have observed that
 elephants seem to be highly intelligent and
empathic animals, but as scientists we
need to actually test it," 

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Emily Larson's curator insight, February 20, 4:38 PM

This article caught my attention because I love elephants. I found it really interesting that they are even more like humans that I realized. Displaying sympathetic affection shows how intelligent elephants truly  are. I found this article to be really informing and interesting.

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Empathic Rats Free Trapped Buddies From Restraints

Empathic Rats Free Trapped Buddies From Restraints | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Rats express empathy in ways that are familiar to humans.

 

There are always "surprises" emerging from studies of the cognitive, emotional, and moral lives of nonhuman animals (animals) and among the discoveries that received a good deal of attention was detailed research published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals that showed that chickens, mice and rats displayed empathy." Empathic Rats and Ravishing Ravens" has some strong examples, and in that essay I noted how over the past few years scientists have learned much about the moral lives of animals. Now we know rats display this same empathy.

 

by Marc Bekoff

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Jailbreak Rat: Selfless Rodents Spring Their Pals and Share Their Sweets

Jailbreak Rat: Selfless Rodents Spring Their Pals and Share Their Sweets | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
A new study suggests that rodents are far more altruistic than previously thought

 

The English language is not especially kind to rats. We say we "smell a rat" when something doesn't feel right, refer to stressful competition as the "rat race," and scorn traitors who "rat on" friends. But rats don't deserve their bad rap. According to a new study in the December 9 issue ofScience, rats are surprisingly selfless, consistently breaking friends out of cages—even if freeing their buddies means having to share coveted chocolate. It seems that empathy and self-sacrifice have a greater evolutionary legacy than anyone expected.

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Social experience drives empathetic, pro-social behavior in rats

Social experience drives empathetic, pro-social behavior in rats | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Rats will help a stranger in distress only if they have had prior social experience with the type of the unfamiliar individual

Empathy-driven behavior has been observed in rats who will free trapped companions from restrainers. This behavior also extends toward strangers, but requires prior, positive social interactions with the type (strain) of the unfamiliar individual, report scientists from the University of Chicago, in the open access journal eLife on Jan. 14

The findings suggest that social experiences, not genetics or kin selection, determine whether an individual will help strangers out of empathy. The importance of social experience extends even to rats of the same strain—a rat fostered and raised with a strain different than itself will not help strangers of its own kind.

"Pro-social behavior appears to be determined only by social experience," said Inbal Bartal, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study "It takes diverse social interactions during development or adulthood to expand helping behavior to more groups of unfamiliar individuals. Even in humans, studies have shown that exposure to diverse environments reduces social bias and increases pro-social behavior."

 

VIDEO:  Peggy Mason and Inbal Bartal of the University of Chicago describe how they discovered that rats will help strangers out of empathy, but with a caveat -- they will only help rats of a type they are familiar with.
http://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/66917.php?from=257568 

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Empathy For Animals And The Environment

Empathy For Animals And The Environment | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Empathy is about understanding. When we understand people, we are more inclined to adapt our words and deeds to fill their needs.  

But what about empathy for animals? Empathy for the environment? If we understand them, how will our interactions with them change?

 

People Animals Love (PAL) is a D.C. based non-profit that brings people and animals together with the belief that the unique bond can help fill some of society’s greatest needs. PAL was founded by Earl Strimple DMV who witnessed the effects of the human-animal bond with his clients. An early program matched cats with felons in Lorton County prison.

 

By Megan Noack

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Video: ScienceTake: The Contagious Yawn - It may have to do with empathy

Video: ScienceTake: The Contagious Yawn -  It may have to do with empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

People are not the only animals who yawn, or who catch yawns from each other; dogs and chimps even catch human yawns. It may have to do with empathy, which seems to have deep roots in evolution.

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When it comes empathy, animals are better than humans

When it comes empathy, animals are better than humans | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
By MIZONEWS.NET | Op-Ed

 

Empathy is not unique to humans – in fact, I see it far less in humans and more in animals all the time. If humans had this quality we would not have armies and wars, guns and violence. If one human had the ability to put himself in another’s place and feel for him, the world would be an ideal place. There is a law of nature. The scum always gets to the top. Is that why humans rule the planet?
 

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Chimpanzees and yawn contagion - Lund University

Chimpanzees and yawn contagion - Lund University | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

New research from Lund University, Sweden, has shown for the first time that chimpanzees catch yawns from humans, and that the susceptibility to contagious yawning develops gradually with age – just like it does in humans... 

 

Yawning together is not just a sign of being tired at the same time. Previous research, on adult humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, baboons and dogs, has suggested that contagious yawning may be used as a measure of empathy, that is, the ability to feel or imagine others’ emotional experiences. One argument for this is that we tend to be more susceptible to catching yawns from those we are close to.

 

As a way of examining the role that empathy with the yawner played for contagion, the study also compared the chimpanzees’ reactions towards yawns from their human surrogate mother and a stranger. Contrary to prediction, there was no difference in the likelihood of yawning when engaging with an unfamiliar person from someone with whom the chimpanzees had a close relationship.

VIDEO STORY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKmYakYN6Tw

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Young Apes Show Empathy & Comfort Each Other Like Human Kids, New Study Suggests

Young Apes Show Empathy & Comfort Each Other Like Human Kids, New Study Suggests | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Apes orphaned by the African bushmeat trade lack the social savvy of apes raised by their mothers, a new study finds.

 

"By measuring the expression of distress and arousal in great apes, and how they cope, we were able to confirm that efficient emotion regulation is an essential part of empathy," study researcher Frans de Waal, of Emory University's National Primate Research Center, said in a statement.

 

"Empathy allows great apes and humans to absorb the distress of others without getting overly distressed themselves," de Waal said.

 

LiveScience  |  By Stephanie Pappas

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Young Apes Develop Empathy Like Human Kids

Young Apes Develop Empathy Like Human Kids | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The bonobo, a great ape, shows parallel emotional development to humans', new research finds. Young bonobos that are good at managing their own emotions are also better at soothing others, with orphans struggling the most to make social connections...

 

"Empathy allows great apes and humans to absorb the distress of others without getting overly distressed themselves," de Waal said.

 

By Stephanie Pappas

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COMPASSION IS ENRICHING | Wellness Blog on Speakingtree.in

COMPASSION  IS ENRICHING  | Wellness Blog on Speakingtree.in | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Recent  scientific research on happiness and brain function suggests that when we help others , ..we help ourselves ...by becoming happier .Hence  the best hope we have for attaining happiness ourselves is to pay more attention to the wellbeing of others. Compassion is enriching.
WHY DOES COMPASSION MAKE US HAPPY ?
We feel happy because  when our mind gets diverted in helping others , we realize that  others  also have problems in life ,we are not alone and  by  showing compassion we feel connected to them .OUR MIND GETS DIVERTED FROM OUR PROBLEMS 
Taking our focus away from what’s wrong in our lives helps us to be less self-obsessed. Compassion therefore diverts our attention away from   our  problems which occupy  our minds. When we worry less about ourselves, our own suffering seems less intense. Compassion  displaces  our negative emotions from the mind because we can only focus on one primary emotional state at a time.  By: Pushpa Chaturvedi 
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Dogs May Elicit More Empathy Than Some People

Dogs May Elicit More Empathy Than Some People | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

 People may feel more empathy for dogs than for some of their fellow humans, a new study finds.

 

When it comes to victims of violence, people may be less disturbed by the suffering of human adults, who are considered capable of taking care of themselves, the study suggests. Meanwhile, children, puppies and full-grown dogs are perceived as dependent and vulnerable.

The study involved 240 men and women. Most of the participants were white college students between 18 and 25 years old.

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Compassion Can Be Exhibited By Elephants

Compassion Can Be Exhibited By Elephants | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
People often reflexively put their arm around someone else in distress and a new study from researchers at Emory University in the journal PeerJ has found that elephants also console each other in times of need.


The researchers also found that elephants often responded to the signals of other elephants by adopting a similar body or emotional state -


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something known as an
“emotional contagion”

which may be a sign
of empathy.

============


The researchers noted that their study was limited by the fact that it was restricted to captive animals.


“This study is a first step,” Plotnik said. “I would like to see this consolation capacity demonstrated in wild populations as well.”


by Brett Smith


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Rats display empathy, so why don't animal experimenters?

Rats display empathy, so why don't animal experimenters? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The recent experiment on rats is far from the first time that empathy has been seen in animals in laboratories. In one notoriously cruel experiment, macaque monkeys were given food only if they pulled a chain that electrically shocked another monkey. Nearly all the monkeys preferred to go hungry, and one macaque went without food for 12 days rather than cause pain to another. Monkeys who had previously been shocked were even more reluctant to pull the chain and subject another individual to such punishment. Mice and rats will also starve rather than hurt friends.

 

At one laboratory where PETA conducted an undercover investigation, video footage shows a small caged monkey tugging on the coat of a worker who was mercilessly beating another monkey. The caged monkey weighed no more than 15 pounds to the worker's 170, but he wanted to help his friend.


BY ALKA CHANDNA

 


Via Edwin Rutsch
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Beyond Compassion Fatigue: The Transactional Model of Physician Compassion.

Beyond Compassion Fatigue: The Transactional Model of Physician Compassion. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

hysician compassion is expected by both patients and the medical profession and is central to effective clinical practice. Yet, despite the centrality of compassion to medical practice, most compassion-related research has focused on compassion fatigue, a specific type of burnout among health providers. Although such research has highlighted the phenomenon among clinicians, the focus on compassion fatigue has neglected the study of compassion itself. In this article, we present the Transactional Model of Physician Compassion.

 

After briefly critiquing the utility of the compassion fatigue concept, we offer a view in which physician compassion stems from the dynamic but interrelated influences of physician, patient and family, clinical situation, and environmental factors. Illuminating the specific aspects of physicians' intrapersonal, interpersonal, clinical, and professional functioning that may interfere with or enhance compassion allows for targeted interventions to promote compassion in both education and practice as well as to reduce the barriers that impede it.

 

Antonio T. Fernando III, MD, and Nathan S. Consedine, PhD
Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

 

image http://bit.ly/hZGXA5

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Can rats have empathy?

Can rats have empathy? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Can rats have empathy?
 A new study tests the relationship between social exposure and helping behaviors. (Charity Brown and Jacques Ledbetter / The Washington Post)

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Young Bonobos, Human Children Have Similar Emotional Responses - Science News

Young Bonobos, Human Children Have Similar Emotional Responses - Science News | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Striking similarities between the emotional development of bonobos and that of human children have been discovered by researchers studying young bonobos in an African sanctuary.

 

As genetically similar to humans as the chimpanzee is, the bonobo is one of our closest primate relatives. Research supports the idea that the bonobo is the most empathic of the great apes. “This makes the species an ideal candidate for psychological comparisons,” says de Waal. “Any fundamental similarity between humans and bonobos probably traces back to their last common ancestor, which lived around six million years ago...

 

“By measuring the expression of distress and arousal in great apes, and how they cope, we were able to confirm that efficient emotion regulation is an essential part of empathy. Empathy allows great apes and humans to absorb the distress of others without getting overly distressed themselves,” continues de Waal. This might explain why the traumatized orphan bonobos are less socially competent than their mother-raised peers....

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Empathy in Rats

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Empathy-building Programs | Wisconsin Humane Society

Empathy-building Programs | Wisconsin Humane Society | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The Wisonson Humane Society offers a number of programs designed to increase empathy towards animals. These programs impact children and the community in a number of positive ways. Together with our partners we are enriching lives one relationship at a time! Follow the links below to find out more about these programs. 

 

PAL - People & Animal Learning

PAL is a nationally recognized empathy-building program developed by the Wisconsin Humane Society in 1993.

 

PACK - Promoting Animal Care & Kindness

PACK (Promoting Animal Care and Kindness) is an exciting partnership designed for children and their adult mentors involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee.

 

Project CARE

Project CARE (Compassion and Respect Education) is a school year program that invites underserved young people ages 8-14 to participate in humane education activities at the Wisconsin Humane Society.

 

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Aping humans: Chimpanzees catch human yawns

Aping humans: Chimpanzees catch human yawns | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Human yawns are contagious for chimpanzees but, like children, this only happens among apes that have grown beyond infancy, scientists said Thursday.

 

Playing with a researcher, orphaned young chimps aged between five and eight years began to yawn after their human chum did so, investigators at Sweden's Lund University found.Infant apes, though, seemed immune to yawn contagion.

 

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Empathetic chimps comfort each other like humans, study says

Empathetic chimps comfort each other like humans, study says | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
A new study examines how chimps interact with one another.

 

Scientists studying bonobo chimpanzees at a sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo have found that apes raised with their mothers tend to cuddle and comfort others who are in distress, but that orphaned chimps show markedly less empathy toward others. Along with the common chimpanzee, bonobos are human beings’ closest living relative...

 

The bonobos’ capacity for empathy closely resembles that of human children, whose ability to empathize with others tends to be limited when they have suffered abandonment or lack of emotional support at an early age.

 

by  Delila James

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Need a hug? Study details human-like way bonobos show empathy.

Need a hug? Study details human-like way bonobos show empathy. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

In human children, research has indicated that orphans have a hard time bouncing back quickly from an emotional setback. This study points to the same patterns in young bonobos.

 

Bonobos, which along with chimpanzees are humans' closest living relatives, can be quick with a sympathetic hug and quick to recover from their own stressful events. And they have their mothers to thank for it. That's the upshot of a new study of behavior among bonobos – primates that researchers have found to host remarkably humanlike abilities to empathize or to forgo aggression for cooperation in a society that gives females higher status than males.

 

In the past, studies of empathy and an ability to console others among bonobos have focused on who is giving and receiving comfort and under what circumstances, explains Frans de Waal, who heads the Living Links program at Emory University's Yerkes Primate National Research Center in Atlanta. The studies also have looked for parallels between bonobos and young children on these points.

 

 By             Pete Spotts,

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Video: Understanding dogs and empathy

Video: Understanding dogs and empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

John Van Zante from Rancho Coastal Humane Society gets to the bottom of whether dogs have empathy, taking a look at various studies. He also introduces us to this week's adoptable dogs.

 

John Van Zante from Rancho Coastal Humane Society gets to the bottom of whether dogs have empathy, taking a look at various studies. He also introduces us to this week’s adoptable dogs. Rancho Coastal Humane Society is open Wednesday through Monday in Encinitas.

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The virtual reality cow aiming to turn steak lovers into vegetarians

The virtual reality cow aiming to turn steak lovers into vegetarians | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Researchers at Stanford University have developed a virtual reality avatar that enables humans to empathise with cows destined for the slaughterhouse.

 

"We were really interested in the theory of empathy," said Joshua Bostick, a Stanford University researcher. "Could you identify with this cow avatar and how did it make you feel about the environment and maybe things that you could do to make a small little difference."

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