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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
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Rat and ant rescues 'don't show empathy'

Rat and ant rescues 'don't show empathy' | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Studies of how rats and ants rescue other members of their species do not prove that animals other than humans have empathy, according to biologists.

 

The ability to rescue another individual in distress, a typical empathic response of humans, appears in several other animals. Two recent laboratory studies led by US and French researchers looked at how rats and ants will attempt to free individuals of the same species they share a cage or nest with which have been restrained. However, writing in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the Oxford-led team argues that such studies are not rigorous enough to separate examples of 'pro-social' behavior, the tendency to behave so as to benefit another individual, from genuine empathy.

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Empathy & Evolution: How Dogs Convert Stress Into Flow

Empathy & Evolution: How Dogs Convert Stress Into Flow | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Guest Blogger Kevin Behan Explains the Evolution of “Empathy” in Dogs
on Lee Charles Kelley bolg

 

From unknown beginnings, the relationship between dog and man is constantly evolving to render more and more ways of service....

 

Meanwhile canine cognition labs around the world are conducting experiments to elucidate how dogs have become so attuned to human beings that they seem to have developed a capacity for empathy. But is this kind of empathy a form of emotional contagion or a form of higher cognition? Or is it something else entirely?

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Empathy and the brain

Empathy and the brain | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Empathy isn't just some airy-fairy concept. Nonhuman animals show signs of empathy, and neuroscientists have discovered empathy circuits in the brain.

 

Human empathy depends on the ability to share the emotions of others—to “feel” what other people feel.

It is regarded by many people as the foundation of moral behavior.

But to some, the concept seems rather airy-fairy. What does it mean to say “I feel your pain”? Isn’t that just a fanciful flight of the imagination?

Well, not really.

For one thing, it turns out nonhuman animals—-even rodents-—show evidence of empathy.

 

by Gwen Dewa

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Empathic-like responding by domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to distress in humans: an exploratory study

Empathic-like responding by domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to distress in humans: an exploratory study | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Empathy covers a range of phenomena from cognitive empathy involving metarepresentation to emotional contagion stemming from automatically triggered reflexes. An experimental protocol first used with human infants was adapted to investigate empathy in domestic dogs. Dogs oriented toward their owner or a stranger more often when the person was pretending to cry than when they were talking or humming.

 

Observers, unaware of experimental hypotheses and the condition under which dogs were responding, more often categorized dogs’ approaches as submissive as opposed to alert, playful or calm during the crying condition.

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Dogs empathise with crying humans research shows

Dogs empathise with crying humans research shows | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

DOGS feel your pain and want you to know they are there for you. That's the message from boffins at Goldsmiths University who have published research showing domestic dogs show empathy when confronted with human distress.

 

Ms Mayer said: "The dogs approached whoever was crying regardless of their identity. "Thus they were responding to the person’s emotion, not their own needs, which is suggestive of empathic-like comfort-offering behaviour."
 

 By Mark Chandler
 

STUDY: Empathic-like responding by domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to distress in humans: An exploratory study

http://eprints.gold.ac.uk/7074/

Empathy covers a range of phenomena from cognitive empathy involving metarepresentation to emotional contagion stemming from automatically triggered reflexes. An experimental protocol first used with human infants was adapted to investigate empathy in domestic dogs. Dogs oriented toward their owner or a stranger more often when the person was pretending to cry than when they were talking or humming. 

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Dogs demonstrate empathy to crying strangers

Dogs demonstrate empathy to crying strangers | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Looking at long-held owner beliefs, a study suggests that dogs comforted crying strangers in ways similar to human infants.

 

...In the study, both Mayer and the dog's owner alternately cried and hummed "Mary Had A Little Lamb", for 20 seconds in front of the dogs. Similar experiments have shown infants expressing empathy towards strangers under these conditions.

 

Three observers were asked to score films of the dog's reactions to the crying, humming and talking by Mayer and the owners. "Four emotional states in dogs were considered: submissive, calm, playful and alert," says the study.

 

By Dan Vergano,

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Domestic dogs display empathic response to distress in humans

Domestic dogs display empathic response to distress in humans | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

 Research from Goldsmiths, University of London suggests domestic dogs express empathic behaviour when confronted with humans in distress.

 

The study also found that the dogs responded to the person who was crying regardless of whether it was their owner or the unfamiliar person: "If the dogs' approaches during the crying condition were motivated by self-oriented comfort-seeking, they would be more likely to approach their usual source of comfort, their owner, rather than the stranger," said Jennifer. "No such preference was found. The dogs approached whoever was crying regardless of their identity. Thus they were responding to the person's emotion, not their own needs, which is suggestive of empathic-like comfort-offering behaviour.

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The case for dog-gone empathy

The case for dog-gone empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Sometimes the media report a scientific study that makes you think, “Duh. Everybody knows that. Why waste time and money studying that?”

 

That was my initial reaction to the online publication by MedicalXPress (formerly the medical strand of PhysOrg) of “Domestic dogs display empathic response to distress in humans” (June 7, 2012).

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Building Empathy with Equine Therapy

Building Empathy with Equine Therapy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

According to Daniel Goleman, author of “Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead With Emotional Intelligence,“ empathy is the single most important tool in social interaction – especially leadership. Yet, for all it’s importance, empathy is often lacking in everyday life, and as Goleman points out, often overlooked.

 

For this reason, a few organizations have sprung up that focus solely on teaching and building empathy. One such organization is the Humane Society. This organization has developed what they call the Empathy Connection: Creating Caring Communities Through The Human-Animal Relationship.
 

 By CLAIRE DOROTIK


The Empathy Connection Document. 

http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/abuse/empathy-connection.pdf

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Human Yawns Unleash Dog Yawns

Human Yawns Unleash Dog Yawns | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Dogs catch yawns from their sound alone, new research indicates. They also catch their owner's yawns easier than those from others, supporting the theory that contagious yawns are empathy-based and emotional in nature, the researchers say...

 

Previous research has linked contagious yawning to empathy (the ability to understand and interpret another's emotions) in humans. They've shown that people who perform better on empathy-related tasks also contagiously yawned more.

 

 

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Scientists unlock animal intelligence - They show empathy.

Scientists unlock animal intelligence - They show empathy. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The more we study animals, the less special we seem. Baboons can distinguish between written words and gibberish. Monkeys seem to be able to do multiplication. Apes can delay instant gratification longer than a human child can. They plan ahead. They make war and peace. They show empathy.

 

Empathy isn't just for humans
It was once thought the control of emotions and the ability to empathise and socialise separated us from our primate cousins. But chimps console, and fight, each other. They also try to soothe an upset companion, grooming and putting their arms around him.

"I see plenty of empathy in my chimpanzees," de Waal said.

 

http://j.mp/LvuwM5

 

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Frans de Waal - the origins of morality - The Science Show

Frans de Waal - the origins of morality - The Science Show | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Are humans unique as creatures which exhibit moral behaviour? Experiments with apes and other animals are convincing researchers that humans aren't the only animals to act in moral ways.

 

Today’s Science Show features a talk from this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Vancouver by biologist Frans de Waal who argues that humans share behaviours like cooperation, consolation, and even distaste for inequity with a range of other animals. It’s not just primates, but can be seen in animals such as elephants and wolves.

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Canine Empathy: Your Dog Really Does Care If You Are Unhappy

Canine Empathy: Your Dog Really Does Care If You Are Unhappy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Such incidents involving pet dogs appear to be quite common and at face value they seem to show that dogs are showing empathy for their owners. Generally speaking empathy can be defined as the ability to put oneself into the mental shoes of another person to understand and even share their emotions and feelings. Although dog owners seem to be quite sure that their dogs have empathy for their feelings, if you make that suggestion to a group of psychologists are behavioral biologists it is more apt to start an argument rather than to bring out nods of agreement.

 

By Stanley Coren

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Animal Empathy? Do animals possess empathy?

Animal Empathy? Do animals possess empathy? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Do animals possess empathy? A loaded question. A couple of recent studies have claimed they do (think of rescue rats and yawning dogs). But, as I asked in the post about the yawning dog study, is that really what is shown? A recent article in Biology Letters addresses this query.

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Do Dogs Have Empathy? Or Is It a Sixth Sense?

Do Dogs Have Empathy? Or Is It a Sixth Sense? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

How Dogs Respond to Our Hidden Desires...

 

Dogs inherited this ability and started using it on us, manipulating us into “domesticating” them. Over the years they developed a deeper and stronger ability to tune into our emotional states. It’s what enables them to work for us and, quite often, to comfort us when we’re not feeling well.

 

It’s not empathy. And it’s not emotional contagion. I think it's more like a sixth sense, an ability to tune in to our emotional vibrations.

 

by Lee Charles Kelley

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Canine Empathy

Canine Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Sandy Robins discusses canine empathy, and what dogs really think when you are hurt or sad.

 

Picture this. You are taking your dog for a typical neighborhood walk. All of a sudden, you trip over some uneven concrete on the pavement and fall flat on your face, twisting your ankle and remain lying there.

 

Your dog instantly comes over to you and starts whimpering. In your pain, you glance up and he starts licking you. Could that possibly be a look of "canine concern" on his face? Further, he remains by your side until you are able to get up and get moving again.

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Rat and ant rescues 'don't show empathy'

Rat and ant rescues 'don't show empathy' | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

(Phys.org) -- Studies of how rats and ants rescue other members of their species do not prove that animals other than humans have empathy, according to a team led by Oxford University scientists.

 

'Empathy has been proposed as the motivation behind the sort of ‘pro-social' rescue behaviour in which one individual tries to free another,' said Professor Alex Kacelnik of Oxford University's Department of Zoology, lead author of the article, 'however, the reproductive benefits of this kind of behaviour are relatively well understood as, in nature, they are helping individuals to which they are likely to be genetically related or whose survival is otherwise beneficial to the actor. 'To prove empathy any experiment must show an individual understands another's feelings and is driven by the psychological goal of improving another's wellbeing. Our view is that, so far, there is no proof of this outside of humans.'

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Man's Best Friend: Mere Companion or Source of Compassion?

Man's Best Friend: Mere Companion or Source of Compassion? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Recent science suggests that dogs may have more to contribute during hard and emotional times than previously thought.

In understanding the science behind human capacity for empathy, it's not uncommon to turn to the animal kingdom for additional evidence. It's been widely accepted that several animal species -- primates, most notably -- exhibit prosocial tendencies. While primates are our close evolutionary cousins, dogs are our closer companions. What does man's best friend tell us about the science of empathy? 

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Canine comfort: Does your dog (empathically) know when you're sad?

Canine comfort: Does your dog (empathically) know when you're sad? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

In a study published online May 30 in the journal Animal Cognition, University of London researchers found that dogs were more likely to approach a crying person than someone who was humming or talking, and that they normally responded to weeping with submissive behaviors. The results are what you might expect if dogs understand our pain, the researchers wrote, but it's not proof that they do.

 

 By Stephanie Pappas

http://j.mp/L9Vc2X

 

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

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Study: Dogs Show Natural Desire to Comfort Human Companions

Study: Dogs Show Natural Desire to Comfort Human Companions | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

According to a recent study by Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer of Goldsmiths College in London, dogs are good for us in more ways than we might have imagined. Not only do they have a desire to please – they also want us to be happy. According to the study, published in the in the journal of Animal Cognition:

 

Empathy covers a range of phenomena from cognitive empathy involving metarepresentation to emotional contagion stemming from automatically triggered reflexes. An experimental protocol first used with human infants was adapted to investigate empathy in domestic dogs.

 

http://j.mp/Nh80a5

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Equine Therapy: A Cure For Self-Obsession? -

Equine Therapy: A Cure For Self-Obsession? - | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

In July of last year, Newsweek ran an article titled, “United States of Narcissism.” The article explored America’s rather explosive rise of self-obsession, and self-admiration, self-absorption and self-indulgence.

 

All About The Self

You get the concept. Narcissism is the inability to see past that blindingly imposing thing known as the self to comprehend how one’s actions may affect another. According to Sara Konrath, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Research Center for Group Dynamics, narcissism is measured in her studies as a lack of empathy.

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Dogs in the classroom: teaching children about kindness and empathy

Dogs in the classroom: teaching children about kindness and empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Children love their new teaching assistants, says Clover Stroud, as classroom canines make reading a great adventure.

 

Wynona was trained by Tracey Berridge, a canine behaviourist trainer, who set up Dogs Helping Kids in 2003 to take dogs into classrooms, both as therapeutic aids for teaching children about kindness and empathy, and also for providing reading support.


Stretched out on her blanket, Wynona’s calming presence is almost tangible as the children work near her, occasionally looking up to smile at their canine classroom assistant, before returning to their writing...

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Teach Your Children Well

Teach Your Children Well | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The implications for other children, those with a stillborn sense of empathy, are dire. Cruelty toward animals fits into what one police officer calls “a larger nexus of crimes and the psyche behind them.” Police and prosecutors recognize this, and no longer brush aside offenses such as dogfighting or animal torture... 

 

Humane education programs come in many shapes and sizes but all with the same goal—cultivating empathy and keeping the capacity for kindness healthy and well-fed.

 

by Jennifer Scarlett

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A Dog's Love: How Man's Best Friend Evolved to Empathize

Dr.Robert Sapolsky discusses his work as professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and as a research associate with the Institute of Primate Reserach. In this clip he talks about how dog evolved to empathize.

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3 Ways Pets Foster Empathy

3 Ways Pets Foster Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Why Fido--or your favorite feline--is your household's best empathy teacher.

 

How do pets help children develop empathy? Read on, and you might give your child's pleas for a puppy a second thought.

 

1. Caretaking is a skill that can be transferred to people.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), “A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, may get invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way…

 

By Ada Calhoun

http://j.mp/L9W4EK

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