Empathy and Animals
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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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(Animal Empathy) Measuring empathy in non-human animals: examples from dog studies

Empathy: A Bridge across Species: A workshop. May 6, 2015. Afternoon Session. First Talk. Ludwig Huber (University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna): Measuring ...


LIKE ME: THE EVOLUTIONARY AND NEURO-COGNITIVE BASIS OF THE LINK BETWEEN IMITATION, EMPATHY AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN DOGS AND HUMANS

http://www.wwtf.at/projects/research_projects/details/index.php?PKEY=2106_DE_O


https://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/messerli/science/cognition/staff/ludwig-huber/


Analogical reasoning in keas, ravens and pigeons

http://cogcom.univie.ac.at/research-projects/prof-ludwig-huber/


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Dogs Teach Empathy, Prevent Bullying to At-Risk Youth in NYC Schools

Dogs Teach Empathy, Prevent Bullying to At-Risk Youth in NYC Schools | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

For many at-risk youth in New York City, violence and crime is an inescapable fact of life.

But Audrey Hendler is hoping to change that, with the help of about 25 four-legged teaching assistants.

In 2010, Hendler launched A Fair Shake for Youth, a program that brings therapy dogs into middle schools in under-served communities of New York City to teach children empathy and responsibility and help prevent bullying.

Hendler, a certified dog trainer and Canine Good Citizen evaluator, previously worked with Puppies Behind Bars, through which inmates in maximum- and minimum-security prisons helped socialize future working K-9s and service dogs for wounded war veterans.


By: Liz Donovan

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Bryan Kay's curator insight, October 22, 2015 9:00 PM

I hope this article provides insight on how to confront student issues as an educational leader.

 

This article is beneficial to me because so many students at my current school struggle with empathy. This program could be useful to our school. I definitely want to keep this article in my back pocket.

Erin Ryan's curator insight, October 24, 2015 6:43 PM

I love involving students with dogs for so many reasons. This year, we are using the trained dogs to help keep school drug free. It is not a like a huge police raid. The dog servicing our building what brought in for students to meet. We learned about and say him "perform" in an assembly. He was introduced in a non-threatening way as more of a liaison for keeping our school safe. Using animals to educate is a great way to teach students empathy, responsibility and increase confidence. In this article, I interrupted the program to target 12 kids specifically who were in need of skills building relating to bullying and school safety. An administrator would need to be pretty creative with scheduling as missed instructional time in core content areas is difficult. The impact however could be substantial to student's emotional and social growth.

Shelly Reckow VanVoorst's curator insight, October 24, 2015 9:35 PM

I scooped this article because it involves dogs and children.  I firmly believe that animals can be calming and reassuring for students who are at-risk.  This article is the start of an awesome program that I hope grows and spreads across the country.  I hope that others who read this article will be open-minded enough to realize that dogs, and other animals even, can play an important role in helping students as they grow.  I hope that staff members realize that we are educating the whole child at school now, and not just offering an academic education. 

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Animal Empathy - Depends on the Animal **

Animal Empathy - Depends on the Animal ** | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's shoes.


Elephants

Asian elephants have just been added to the list of animals that show tremendous concern for others. A study in the journal PeerJ found that when an Asian elephant detects that another is stressed out, it uses its trunk to gently caress the suffering elephant and emits a sweet-sounding chirp.

Ravens

Mice

Rats

Gorillas

Crows

Oranguatans

Cats and Dogs


http://news.discovery.com/animals/elephants-added-to-list-of-animals-that-show-empathy-140218.htm



by LittleSally

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Really? Yawning Is Contagious Between Dogs and Their Owners: yawn is thought to signal empathy.

Really? Yawning Is Contagious Between Dogs and Their Owners: yawn is thought to signal empathy. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Yawning when you see someone else yawn is thought to signal empathy. About half of all people do it contagiously. Now researchers have confirmed what many pet owners have long suspected: Dogs, too, are contagious yawners.

In a series of experiments carried out on two dozen breeds, from poodles to pit bulls, researchers found that when a dog watched either a stranger or its owner yawn, the dog was far more likely to yawn in response to its owner. Dogs in the study also demonstrated that, for the most part, they could not be duped. They responded frequently to genuine yawns, but less so to fake yawns in which people simply stretched and then opened and closed their mouths without making noise.

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NOVA scienceNOW: What are animals thinking: Animal Morality: Can rats feel empathy?

NOVA scienceNOW: What are animals thinking: Animal Morality: Can rats feel empathy? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Do dogs feel guilty?


Can rats feel empathy?


We project very complex—and very human—moral and emotional lives onto our animal companions. Now, scientists studying animal cognition are finally revealing the machinery of animals' moral compasses.

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The Science of Yawns, Dogs and Empathy

The Science of Yawns, Dogs and Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Swedish scientists show that dogs empathize with humans.

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Empathy in Rats - Animal Cognition

Empathy in Rats - Animal Cognition | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

As the go-to animal for biological and behavioral research, rats have long been the darlings of science. But only in recent years has their capacity for empathy started to get more attention.

That’s not to say that research into rat empathy hasn’t been done in the past. In 1962, scientists George E. Rice and Priscilla Gainer presented individual rats with a squeaking rat suspended in a harness. For the control condition, they presented the rats with a Styrofoam block in another harness. The experimenter rat could respond by pressing a bar that would lower either the distressed rat or the block. The distressed rat was freed more often than the block.


To learn more about some of the empathy research covered in this article, watch the video below.

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There's More To Smart Dogs Than What '60 Minutes' And Chaser Showed You: Dogs are wired for empathy in ways that many other species are not.

There's More To Smart Dogs Than What '60 Minutes' And Chaser Showed You: Dogs are wired for empathy in ways that many other species are not. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

by Arlene Weintraub 
During the 60 Minutes story we heard a lot about oxytocin, commonly called “the love hormone.” This is a hormone, made in the brains of both dogs and people, that promotes the bonding between mothers and their babies, for example, and makes us feel good when we hug a loved one. Turns out when dogs make eye contact with their people or jump in their laps, both dogs and the recipients of their affection get more of an oxytocin rush.

But are dogs empathetic? Do they feel our emotional pain and joy? Several studies suggest they do. For example, in 2013, a group of Japanese researchers showed that the phenomenon of contagious yawning—long believed to be a sign of empathy—does not just happen among people. The scientists observed 25 dogs yawning in response to the yawns of both their owners and those of people they did not know. They measured the dogs’ heart rate to show that their yawning was not caused by stress (as many dog trainers believe it is).

Dogs may also be empathetic because in addition to sharing the love hormone with their humans, they share the stress hormone, called cortisol.


The researchers concluded that the dogs were showing “emotional contagion,” a basic form of empathy. What’s more, the empathy crossed species—a rare occurrence, they suggested.

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Empathetic budgies yawn when they see their peers do the same

Empathetic budgies yawn when they see their peers do the same | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

 by Penny Sarchet


The common pet budgerigar is loved for its ability to mimic its owners. But it has another special trick – it can catch yawns from other budgies, suggesting it has some kind of empathy.


"Practically all vertebrates yawn," says Ramiro Joly-Mascheroni of City University, London. In 2008, he showed that dogs can catch yawns from humans. The only other species shown to yawn contagiously are humans,chimpanzees and a type of rodent called the high-yawning Sprague-Dawley rat. But Andrew Gallup of the State University of New York and his colleagues have now shown for the first time that the same happens for a species of non-mammals....


But the finding in budgies isn't just a cute novelty; because contagious yawning seems to be linked with empathetic processes, Gallup says this suggests that other social non-mammals may have basic forms of empathy.



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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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For the First Time Ever, Scientists Observed Chimpanzees Caring For a Disabled Infant

For the First Time Ever, Scientists Observed Chimpanzees Caring For a Disabled Infant | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Does this provide evidence that chimpanzees are empathetic?


While chimpanzees are humans closest living relatives, we must not confuse their gentle side for empathy. Caring for their disabled does not provide evidence that they understand another individual’s emotional state—the definition of empathy.

“Although I don’t think this study showed anything about empathy, I do think there is strong evidence for it in chimpanzees,” he said.


by Natasha Umer 

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Are Animals Empathetic?

When Koko the gorilla heard about the recent death of Robin Williams, she broke down and cried. Are animals capable of being empathetic? Tara explains how a few different types of animals are capable of feeling the same emotions as humans!
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Empathy and Animals Magazine

Empathy and Animals Magazine | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Sponsored by Edwin Rutsch: Empathy Guide Services
Visit  http://cultureofempathy.com/Services/

These one-to-one empathy sessions support; well-being, healing, practicing to be a better listener and supporting you in creating empathic environments in your relationships, family, school, work, communities and beyond.


Subscribe emailed Empathy Newsletter


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grouchcustom's comment, April 4, 3:13 AM
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Beyond mindfulness: how horse riding, eating your greens and going for a walk can help depression

Beyond mindfulness: how horse riding, eating your greens and going for a walk can help depression | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Equine therapy has been shown to help nurture self-awareness and empathy


Not so long ago, if you had anxiety or depression, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was the answer. It was everywhere. Now mindfulness is even more ubiquitous.


And there is indeed much scientific evidence for its benefits in treating depression, anxiety and addiction. But, as Rachel Boyd of the mental health charity Mind points out, “It’s not for everyone and there are lots of alternatives.” Before CBT, Freudian psychotherapy dominated. We’ve lumbered from digging up the roots of our problems, to solving issues by changing the way we think and behave with CBT, to learning to enjoy life how it is, through mindfulness.


But if none of the above appeal to you, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up all hope of a calmer, brighter outlook. There are other options.


  • Solution-focused hypnotherapy...
  • Breathing exercises...
  • Exercise and diet...
  • Creative therapies...
  • Horse riding...





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Emapthy: Nova science now What are animals thinking

Nova science now What are animals thinking
 

Empathy - Bonobos Sharing 
was she feeling empathy. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOgGOtKspV0 &t=0m0s

was she feeling empathy. 


Empathy and Rats


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOgGOtKspV0 &t=11m020s


Theory of mind with monkeys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOgGOtKspV0 &t=44m40s

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How watching a cute animal video makes the world a better place ...and more empathic.

How watching a cute animal video makes the world a better place ...and more empathic. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Does owning a pet or even watching those ubiquitous YouTube animal videos make us more empathetic? Apparently so. Loving those creatures may unlock ways to make you less lonely and make the world a better place.


"Interacting with a pet can increase oxytocin, beta-endorphin and dopamine levels as well as reduce cortisol levels — powerful neurochemicals that can lower our blood pressure and make us feel happier, better and more relaxed," says Rebecca A. Johnson, a professor and director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.


Oxytocin, often called the "love" or "trust" hormone because of the feelings it triggers when we kiss or fall in love, also promotes social bonding.


By ALENE DAWSON

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Empathic Rats: Recent research showing rodents' concern for their fellow species suggests empathy

Empathic Rats: Recent research showing rodents' concern for their fellow species suggests empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
For a long time, it was thought that empathy was unique to primates, or even humans. But in the past few years, several experiments seem to indicate rats and mice feel each other's pain, too.

Catching Emotions

The simplest form of empathy is known as emotional contagion. It's a phenomenon where one individual's emotions spread to other individuals nearby. For instance, if one baby in a nursery cries, it triggers the other babies in the room to cry as well. Emotional contagion allows humans and other animals to share emotional experiences, and there is strong evidence it exists in rodents.


by Mary Bates

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Move over Lassie: Tests reveal pigs can outsmart dogs and chimpanzees: also have empathy

Move over Lassie: Tests reveal pigs can outsmart dogs and chimpanzees:  also have empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The study's authors say while we tend to place pigs in a lower category to animals such as dogs and cats, they are in fact, just as smart and empathic – and should be treated as such....


A study earlier this year also found pigs have empathy. Researchers in the Netherlands housed pigs in 16 groups of six, training two of the animals in each of the groups...


University of Portsmouth research has shown that orangutans can be so full of empathy that they take on the moods of others. When one orangutan laughs, others often join in. They have complex social lives, with pigs often learning from one another...


 By ELLIE ZOLFAGHARIFARD

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Yawning budgies can make other budgies yawn too, study suggests

Yawning budgies can make other budgies yawn too, study suggests | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Budgerigars, also known as parakeets, are susceptible to catching the urge to yawn from watching other budgies do it.


[What yawning bonobos can teach us about empathy]'


Some researchers, including Gallup, believe that contagious yawning behavior in different species could be connected to a primitive form of empathy.


Frans de Waal of Emory University in Georgia told the New Scientistthat "contagious yawning by itself is not exactly empathy, but it hints at the tendency to mimic and synchronize with the bodies of others" and that the "process is probably the basis of mammalian empathy."


Although Gallup's experiments don't tell us everything about the contagious yawning behavior among budgies, it has potentially interesting implications for future experiments. "Since contagious yawning may represent a primitive form of empathy,"

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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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