Wednesday, August 23, 2006

File Under "Duh"

Dogs are intensely jealous creatures that experience a range of complex human-like emotions, a new study at the University of Portsmouth has revealed.

The study of 1000 domestic animal owners in the south of England also uncovered examples where jealous dogs acted as 'uninvited chaperones' between couples sharing romantic moments. ... [The study] challenges the long-held scientific belief that only humans and chimpanzees are able to experience secondary emotions such as jealousy, guilt, shame and pride.
Sometimes, the smartest people can be so damn stupid. Witness:
Dr Morris said it was readily accepted in the scientific community that dogs, cats, horses and other non-primate animals experience primary emotions such as anger, anxiety and surprise.

Secondary emotions such as jealousy, pride, embarrassment and shame are considered to be the exclusive domain of humans and perhaps chimpanzees as they have the cognitive capacities required to support the complex range of secondary emotions.

But this thinking, Dr Morris said, might have to be revised.
Gee... Ya think? (I suppose this is another case of "better late than never.")
Dr Morris has been invited to present his paper 'Proud Horses and Jealous Dogs: Evidence for Secondary Emotions in Non-Primate Species' at the BA Festival of Science.
I'm not usually one for sicentific papers, but this sounds like an interesting read.

In high school science, I remember being taught that we were just anthropormorphizing if we thoguht we saw recognizable emotions in animals. Instead, science was guilty of (for lack of a better term) dehumanizing animals when they ignored obvious evidence of emotional intelligence.

Now, when will they realize that these guys are full-on self-aware, and as such, deserve certain rights & protections?


Blogger Pete said...

As an owner of 2 dogs I can asure you they have secondary emotions. One is nicknamed Jelous for a reason.

On a side note how do people think up this stuff to study and what the hell are we going to do with it?

8/23/06, 11:32 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

It used to be commonly accepted that man was the only animal to use tools and language, to experience complex emotions, to form socio-political organizations, to possess a sense of self, et al.

NONE of which, we're learning, is remotely true.

As for what we're gonna use this knowledge for -- We're gonna use it to advance our understanding of the world and our place in it, the benefits of which are incalculable.

8/24/06, 1:49 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Ummm.. this brings up images of a certain bulldog for me.. and a hot guy who cares enough to stop what he's doing and pay attention to said bulldog.. hmmm... ;)

8/24/06, 1:58 PM  

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