Researchers discovered that dogs and primates have a deep-seated sense of morality.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Dogs aren’t considered man’s best friend for nothing. A recent study involving dogs and primate performed at the Kyoto University revealed that some animals could react to moral situations. More specifically, primates and dog can tell if a person is rude or not when interacting the owner. They have observed that canines can radically alter their behavior when interacting with a rude person.
We all know the fact that dogs tend to behave differently when they’re around rude people and now, we have a scientific study which proves that dogs can indeed determine is rude or not, and act in accordance with the situation. Furthermore, the study points out that dogs are clever enough to understand the concept of morality.
James Anderson, a Kyoto University involved in the new study said that dogs and some primates shared the same grasp on morality as an infant. To prove their theory, Anderson and his team hired professional actors in order to interact with a dog owner.
The experiment had three stages or, more specifically, followed three type of behavior: passive, active, and aggressive.
For the purpose of this experiment involving dogs and primates, the dog owners were asked to perform a simple action, such as opening a can. During the can opening process, the actor chose to either help the man open the can or stand by and watch him struggle. The third moral choice was to taunt the man for not being able to open a simple metal container.
After finishing each scenario, the actors were allowed to give the canines some treats. The researchers observed that the dogs would not behave any different towards the actor who was either passive or active/helpful and would not refuse his treats.
On the other hand, the scientists observed that the dog would radically change his behavior if the actor were rude during the experiment. Apart from shunning him, the dog also refused to take any treats from him.
Anderson concluded that canines and some primates actually have a moral sense, meaning that they can react to various scenarios. He added that this new study proves that dogs are much cleverer than we think and that it shouldn’t surprise us the next time we see our dog refusing eye contact or taking a treat from another person.
The study was recently published in the Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews journal, awaiting peer revision.
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