People Feel More Empathy for Puppies Suffering Than Humans, Study Suggests
Do you find it impossible to get through a movie where a dog dies? Do you feel horrible if you bump into a dog, even if it’s an accident? Do you call your dog your “fur baby” or maybe even just your “baby,” and mean it in a sincere way? If you answered “yes” to all those questions, you might be relieved to know that new research is on your side.
In fact, a new study, published in <a target=”blank” href=”http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/15685306-12341440″>Society & Animals_ found that people actually felt more empathy for dogs than fellow people. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The researchers showed 256 people four fake newspaper stories about horrific attacks, each one focusing on a different victim: a 1-year-old human baby, a puppy, a 30-year-old adult human, and a 6-year-old dog. Which fake victim got the most empathy from real people in the study? The puppy, hands down.
If you’re interested, the human baby got the “second best” level of empathy from the researchers, followed by the older dog, and ending with the adult human (poor us!). We’re all about the puppy love over here, but we had no idea that puppies suffering bothered so many people more than human suffering!
That said, it’s no secret that some folks out there absolutely adore their four-legged friends. Remember that study that found that dog owners take more photos of their pups than they do of their own spouses? Or that research that found that dogs helped their owners through traumatic events, like the death of a loved one? Luckily, it seems like our doggos return the love back to us.
After all, who’s happier to see you than your dog?
Next, find out seven reasons why dogs are good for your health:
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