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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The Power of Animals to Teach Children Empathy

How a child interacts with the world is learned early on in their development, so how can we teach children to approach those around them from a standpoint of empathy instead of fear or hate?

Introducing the first digital interactive e-book app from the RedRover Readers program: Children will learn important life skills while being immersed in a wonderful story of courage, compassion and empathy. SIGN UP HERE to get the e-book app: http://redrover.org/e-book

 

 

Teaching empathy for amimals

  • Role playing - play being the animal
  • using dogs as service dogs to foster connection and warmth, via raising oxytocyn,

 


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4 barriers to empathy in customer service

4 barriers to empathy in customer service | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
In the article “Not feeling it? Learn how to navigate the roadblocks to empathy” on our Relate site, we learn that there’s a lot that can disrupt our brain’s ability to empathize. But it’s also true that as long as we believe we can be more empathic, we can be. Studies show that our capacity for empathy is not fixed.

Here are a few things that make empathy in customer service difficult, but that agents can learn to watch—and correct—for.

 

1. Feeling the pressure..

2. Making snap decisions..

3. “Stranger danger”...

4. Distractions in the workplace..

 

Following that, here are a few creative ways to help strengthen that empathy muscle.

  • Enroll in a formal empathy training, like those offered by Seek Company
  • Get involved with your local community and promote a culture of volunteerism in the workplace
  • Attempt a challenging physical activity (Tough Mudder, anyone?)
  • Make time for meditation. Who knows, you might even set up a weekly hour for quiet meditation over the lunch hour.
  • Try reading fiction for pleasure—book a room, invite friends, but adhere to a strict no-talking policy

 

BY SUZANNE BARNECUT

 

 

 

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The Power of Animals to Teach Children Empathy

How a child interacts with the world is learned early on in their development, so how can we teach children to approach those around them from a standpoint of empathy instead of fear or hate?

Introducing the first digital interactive e-book app from the RedRover Readers program: Children will learn important life skills while being immersed in a wonderful story of courage, compassion and empathy. SIGN UP HERE to get the e-book app: http://redrover.org/e-book

 

 

Teaching empathy for amimals

  • Role playing - play being the animal
  • using dogs as service dogs to foster connection and warmth, via raising oxytocyn,

 

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Do animals feel empathy? Inside the decades-long quest for an answer

Do animals feel empathy? Inside the decades-long quest for an answer | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Yes, even rats have feelings. Here’s how we know.


Throughout her career as a neurobiologist, Peggy Mason has been told over and over that the rats she experiments on are not capable of empathy. Only humans and other primates can understand the emotions of another. Most other animals can't. And certainly not beady-eyed rats....


The study, published in Science in 2011, was a breakthrough. If rats were capable of basic forms of empathy, then perhaps empathy was common — or even universal — among mammals. Studying animal empathy could give us insight into how human empathy evolved. ("I consider myself just a fancy rat," Mason told me.)


by Brian Resnick

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Susan Stillman's curator insight, February 9, 2016 2:48 PM
Such an important topic, especially when we think of the lack of empathy that many humans have for animals.
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PETA Hopes to Turn 'Silence of the Lambs' House into 'Empathy Museum' - Breitbart

PETA Hopes to Turn 'Silence of the Lambs' House into 'Empathy Museum' - Breitbart | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is hoping to turn the infamous torture house used by Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs into an “empathy museum” where visitors can wear the skins of dead and abused animals.
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Do animals have empathy?

Empathy is the ability to understand and share feelings. Only a handful of species have this trait, including humans. A recent scientific study might have uncovered evidence that tells us why we feel this emotion — and it’s all thanks to a rodent.
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Consoling Voles Hint at Animal Empathy

Consoling Voles Hint at Animal Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Larry Young from Emory University, who studies prairie voles, has seen this behavior again and again. To him, it's a sign that the rodents are showing empathy.

Such claims have proven controversial in the past. For example, in 2012, scientists at the University of Chicago showed that rats will free trapped cage-mates, even if they have to sacrifice a bit of chocolate to do so. The researchers billed these rescues as evidence of empathy—that “rats free their cagemate in order to end distress.”


ED YONG

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Dogs are experts at reading human EMOTIONS: how dogs seem able to show empathy.

Dogs are experts at reading human EMOTIONS:  how dogs seem able to show empathy. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Dogs can read human emotions: Canines recognise when people are feeling happy or sad, even if they've never met them 


  • Scientists tested dogs' ability to read the emotions of human strangers 
  • They were able to combine facial expressions with the tone of voice
  • Dogs were also highly attuned to detecting emotions in other canines
  • Results prove dogs recognise emotions in all humans not just their owners



Scientists believe they have unravelled just how dogs seem able to show empathy.


It is because they are able to rapidly mimic or 'catch' emotions, research suggests.
 

In humans, it has been shown that when experiencing empathy, humans tend to mirror or mimic the emotional expression of the person they are engaging with.
 

Now researchers led by Elisabetta Palagi, of the University of Pisa have found that dogs possess a key 'building-block of empathy' - being able to mimic emotional behaviour in other dogs.
 


By FIONA MACRAE  

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Recherche-info's curator insight, January 13, 2016 9:51 PM

By Fiona Macrae, Science Editor For The Daily Mail, 13.01.2016


Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, January 16, 2016 4:52 AM

LOS PERROS SON EXPERTOS EN LEER LAS EMOCIONES HUMANAS - LOS CIENTÍFICOS CREEN HABER DESENTRAÑADO CÓMO LOS PERROS PARECEN SER CAPACES DE MOSTRAR EMPATÍA .ELLOS RECONOCEN CUÁNDO UNA PERSONA SE SIENTE TRISTE O FELIZ AUNQUE NUNCA LA HAYAN VISTO ANTES.

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Dogs Mimic Each Other’s Expressions, Too: dogs may be able to experience some form of empathy

Dogs Mimic Each Other’s Expressions, Too: dogs may be able to experience some form of empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The behavioral findings hint that dogs, like humans, might be capable of their own form of empathy


Now Palagi and her colleagues have found that it’s not just humans and our close relatives who experience these empathy-building benefits. For the first time, they have demonstrated that dogs use rapid mimicry with other dogs to reinforce social bonds and get on the same playful wavelength.....


The findings hint that dogs may be able to experience some form of empathy, but more studies will be needed to explore that hypothesis. The researchers also hope to perform a similar study in wolves so they can investigate whether mimicry is a phenomenon found generally in canines, or if it developed particularly in dogs as part of the domestication process.


SMITHSONIAN.COM 



 

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People can Learn how to Empathize with Strangers, Study Says

People can Learn how to Empathize with Strangers, Study Says | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

People can be taught how to empathize with strangers, a new study concluded.


For this study, the researchers at the University of Zurich in Switzerland set out to examine if empathy can be learned and if positive experiences with others can affect that learning process.


The team, which was made up of psychologist and neuroscientist Grit Hein, Philippe Tobler, Jan Engelmann and Marius Vollberg, measured their participants' brain activity when they experienced different situations with other people.


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Canine copycats can mirror other dogs' emotions: dogs may be showing a basic built-in form of empathy

Canine copycats can mirror other dogs' emotions: dogs may be showing a basic built-in form of empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Dogs can copy each other's expressions in a split-second just like people, showing signs of basic empathy, according to Italian researchers. 


Mimicking each other's facial expressions is a human habit, which helps people to get along. Dogs do the same to bond with other dogs, scientists report in the journal, Royal Society Open ScienceThey think dogs may be showing a basic built-in form of empathy, enabling them to pick up on emotions.


By Helen Briggs

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Daniel the Spaniel: The dog that broke the internet

Daniel the Spaniel: The dog that broke the internet | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

 The dog that broke the internet: Daniel the Spaniel becomes online sensation after guest appearance on BBC News

  • Daniel the Spaniel appeared on programme today with owner Deena Selby 
  • Featured on story about research relating to canines and 'basic empathy'
  • Within minutes,Twitter had gone into meltdown over the adorable pet
  • Viewers compared him to Kim Kardashian who 'broke internet' last year

By STEPH COCKROFT

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Monkeys DO show empathy, finds study

Monkeys DO show empathy, finds study | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Monkeys DO show empathy: Macaques make more eye contact when acting 'kindly' and care about how their peers are feeling
  • French researchers paired up monkeys to study empathetic behaviour
  • Experiment involved treats of juice and punishing 'airpuffs'
  • It showed most macaques chose to reward partners and not punish them
  • Suggests take the welfare of friends into account when making decisions


Now scientists have shown that the creatures also seemingly show empathy - a characteristic thought to be almost uniquely human.


The new study suggests macaque monkeys take the welfare of their friends into account when making behaviour choices that could reward or punish their peers. 


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Empathy is More Common in Animals Than Originally Thought

Empathy is More Common in Animals Than Originally Thought | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Researchers have been working on a brand new study based on prairie voles actually consoling their loved one who are feeling stressed, and based on the results of this study, it appears that the infamous “love hormone,” called oxytocin, is the underlying mechanism.

 

Up until now, we have only been able to document the consolation behavior in a few non-human species that typically have higher levels of cognition and sociality, such as dogs, dolphins, and elephants.

For this particular study, the prairie vole were used and were able to show researchers that they are particularly social rodents, which causes them to be the focus of multiple studies in this field.

 

This data led James Burkett, along with his colleagues, to vastly explore their potential for empathy-motivated behaviors

 

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Empathy is More Common in Animals Than Originally Thought

Empathy is More Common in Animals Than Originally Thought | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Researchers have been working on a brand new study based on prairie voles actually consoling their loved one who are feeling stressed, and based on the results of this study, it appears that the infamous “love hormone,” called oxytocin, is the underlying mechanism.

 

Up until now, we have only been able to document the consolation behavior in a few non-human species that typically have higher levels of cognition and sociality, such as dogs, dolphins, and elephants.

For this particular study, the prairie vole were used and were able to show researchers that they are particularly social rodents, which causes them to be the focus of multiple studies in this field.

 

This data led James Burkett, along with his colleagues, to vastly explore their potential for empathy-motivated behaviors

 

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US children are reading to shelter dogs: It's encouraging children to develop empathy with animals

US children are reading to shelter dogs: It's encouraging children to develop empathy with animals | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Ms Klepacki said the program has helped the children as much as the dogs.

“It's encouraging children to develop empathy with animals. It's a peaceful, quiet exercise. They're seeing fearfulness in these animals, and seeing the positive affect they can have,” she said.

“It encourages them to look at things from an animal’s perspective. That helps them better connect with animals and people in their lives.”

Ms Klepacki said the program has so far been very successful in helping to find forever homes for a large number of dogs.

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Do animals feel empathy? Inside the decades-long quest for an answer

Do animals feel empathy? Inside the decades-long quest for an answer | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Yes, even rats have feelings. Here’s how we know.


Throughout her career as a neurobiologist, Peggy Mason has been told over and over that the rats she experiments on are not capable of empathy. Only humans and other primates can understand the emotions of another. Most other animals can't. And certainly not beady-eyed rats....


The study, published in Science in 2011, was a breakthrough. If rats were capable of basic forms of empathy, then perhaps empathy was common — or even universal — among mammals. Studying animal empathy could give us insight into how human empathy evolved. ("I consider myself just a fancy rat," Mason told me.)


by Brian Resnick

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Susan Stillman's curator insight, February 9, 2016 2:48 PM
Such an important topic, especially when we think of the lack of empathy that many humans have for animals.
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When hurt, rodents may console each other: neural mechanisms underlying empathetic responses

When hurt, rodents may console each other:  neural mechanisms underlying empathetic responses | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Young said his research points to a potential role for oxytocin in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder, though more work is needed. “

We now have the opportunity to explore in detail the neural mechanisms underlying empathetic responses in a laboratory rodent with clear implications for humans.”

According to study co-author Frans de Waal, who first discovered animal consolation behavior in chimpanzees in 1979, the findings also shed new light on the range of animals that feel empathy, and how empathy is separate from complex cognition.


Scientists have been reluctant to attribute empathy to animals, often assuming selfish motives,” he said.


 TODD AHERN / EMORY UNIVERSITY

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When hurt, rodents may console each other: The secret to empathetic behavior lies in the hormone oxytocin

When hurt, rodents may console each other: The secret to empathetic behavior lies in the hormone oxytocin | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

The secret to empathetic behavior lies in the hormone oxytocin, which promotes maternal bonding and feelings of love among humans, too.  


Dogs, dolphins and elephants are known to show empathy when a loved one is in pain, and now researchers have found the first consoling behavior in a rodent, known as the prairie vole.

Researchers say the findings, published Thursday in the US journal Science, could help scientists better understand human disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, in which a person's ability to sense the emotions of others is disrupted.

The secret to empathetic behavior lies in the hormone oxytocin, which promotes maternal bonding and feelings of love among humans, too.

Scientists at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University created an experiment in which they isolated prairie voles -- dark rodents which mate in long-term monogamous pairs and raise their offspring together -- from others they knew.

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oxytocin and empathy

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Prairie Voles Show Empathy Just Like Humans

Prairie Voles Show Empathy Just Like Humans | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Until now, consolation has only been observed in relatively large brained animals—apes, elephants, dogs, and some large birds.


This study shows for the first time, however, that animals as small as rodents are capable of empathetic behaviors that extend beyond just ensuring their offspring survive, to actually helping others around them that are in need.


“Consolation might be present in many more animal species than was previously thought,” says James Burkett, a neuroscientist at Emory University and lead author of the study...


“This does not mean animals experience empathy in the same way we do, but the basic foundation for empathy and consolation may be present in many more species than once thought.”


By Grennan Milliken P

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Compassion and empathy research institutions must include all sentient beings in their missions

Compassion and empathy research institutions must include all sentient beings in their missions | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

As such, I was particularly heartened to hear last week that an open letter has been sent to 12 leading institutions, including those cited above, to overcome their blind spot concerning nonhuman animals. The Vegan Society’s Research Advisory Committee members, Dr Richard Twine and Dr Kay Peggs are among more than 30 social scientists from the UK, US and Australia who have signed an open letter urging 12 leading institutions whose work focuses on empathy and compassion to overcome their apparent disregard of nonhuman animals. ...


The idea for the letter was developed by vegan psychotherapist and social worker Beth Levine and underlines ways in which cultural norms position nonhuman animals either as commodities to be exploited for our pleasure, or as having interests 'less than' those of humans.


It also highlights the negative impact these social norms have not only on nonhuman animals, but ourselves and the societies we live in:

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Dogs Mimic Their Pals' Playful Behaviors: emotional contagion, a basic form of empathy

Dogs Mimic Their Pals' Playful Behaviors: emotional contagion, a basic form of empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
While playing, dogs mimic their furry pals more often than they copy strangers — a behavior that could reveal more about how dogs became man's best friend, researchers say.

Mimicking behavior may underlie what scientists call emotional contagion, a basic form of empathy where one shares others' emotions.


In people, chimpanzees, orangutans and other primates, emotional contagion is linked to facial mimicry, a fast automatic response where they involuntarily mimic others' expressions.


Like primates, dogs are social animals — they use their eyes, lips, teeth, heads, tails and bodies in communicative ways. As such, researchers wanted to see if dogs also experienced rapid mimicry. 


by Charles Q. Choi, Live Science Contributor

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New study pinpoints why dogs are good at sensing emotions: show basic signs of empathy.

New study pinpoints why dogs are good at sensing emotions:  show basic signs of empathy. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

New research has found that dogs can mimic the expressions of people and other dogs, and show basic signs of empathy.


They are known as 'man’s best friend', and new research from Italy is attempting to prove that statement has more scientific evidence to support it than we might think.

According to a study by the Royal Society Open Science, dogs can instantly mimic each other’s facial expressions, as well as that of their owners and other humans they interact with.

As part of the research, 49 dogs were filmed playing in a dog park - with their playful behaviour noted in various forms: such as when a dog keeps its mouth open and relaxed, or when it crouches on its front legs and wags its tail.

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Study: Dogs Exhibit Signs Of Basic Empathy

Study: Dogs Exhibit Signs Of Basic Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Researchers have determined that dogs involuntarily mimic others' expressions--a basic building block of empathy. Dogs may exhibit signs of empathy, according to a group of Italian researchers. Publishing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the researchers claim that canines are capable of both rapid mimicry and emotional contagion.


According to the study, "Emotional contagion is a basic form of empathy that makes individuals able to experience others’ emotions. In human and non-human primates, emotional contagion can be linked to facial mimicry, an automatic and fast response...in which individuals involuntary mimic others’ expressions." Lead author, Elisabetta Palagi,

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Empathy In Dog Training - “the capacity to place oneself in another’s position”

Empathy In Dog Training - “the capacity to place oneself in another’s position” | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

When I started working with dogs many, many years ago, empathy in dog training was not a phrase that was typically used in conjunction with the training of dogs...


Empathy in dog training is the ability to understand the effect our actions have on our dogs and then to change what we do for the better.  This is empathy and yes, it most certainly has a place in dog training.


A client of mine has written a piece on empathy in dog training for her blog, it’s worth a read.  http://unimenta2.dsm.pw/?p=1867


One area of research that has attracted attention is whether dogs feel empathy or not. More information on this can be found here.https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201206/canine-empathy-your-dog-really-does-care-if-you-are-unhappy

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