Humans have more empathy for dogs than for some of their fellow human beings

According to a study, human beings have as much empathy for dogs as for their young peers.

In April 2017, the journal Society & Animals published the results of a study titled “Are people more disturbed by the suffering of dogs or that of humans?. In this context, the 240 participants in this survey had been led to consult an article on a false attack. A total of four such papers had been written.

Empathy Study: Fake Newspaper Articles Presented to Participants

Each of these articles mentioned that the victim had been beaten “with a baseball bat by an unknown assailant”. The false reports also state identical injuries: “Arriving at the scene minutes after the attack, a police officer found the victim unconscious with a broken leg and multiple lacerations.”

Victims who were a baby, either an adult or were dogs

The difference between these four articles lay in the identity of the victim. One was a one-year-old baby, another a 30-year-old adult, and the remaining two were a puppy and a six-year-old dog. respond. The subjects of the study had to answer several questions aimed at measuring their empathy towards the victim.

An adult human less considered than a puppy

While the scientists revealed that the baby would get the most empathy, it turned out that the participants had more or less the same empathy for the child, the puppy, and the dog, with the latter receiving less consideration. than the baby. Only the adult human appeared in significant decline here. To partly explain these results, we can recall that a previous study had shown that dogs showed more facial expressions when receiving human attention.

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