Some people love their dogs more than other human beings and a social research study explains why!
There are people who love their dogs and cats more than other human beings! And, surely, you have met someone like that, right?
Moreover, online, it is not uncommon to read an avalanche of comments in which thousands of users express their disapproval and disdain for the many reports of animal abuse.
Outrage at the maltreatment of dogs and cats is completely normal - no animal should suffer any kind of violence, as well as no human being.
Yet many people are able to feel much more empathy for an animal than for a member of their own species.
Why? Research from Northeastern University has tried to answer this question.
Researchers at Northeastern University wanted to investigate this issue in a specific research study, to bring to light the reasons that lead many people to feel more compassion for a dog than for another human being.
The social science experiment proposed by the researchers focused on a sample of 240 students, who were instructed to read reports of both animal and human abuse that were false.
The researchers' hypothesis was that the age of the animal and the adult person would certainly have influenced the ability to feel more or less empathy with the victim.
Actually, that was not exactly the result. It was not age that was a determining factor, but the species! Many of the students suffered the most from seeing a dog being whipped rather than an adult male being beaten with a baseball bat!
This perception actually changed only if there was a child who replaced an adult male. But, in any case, the general tendency shows how a human being is able to feel more empathy for dogs than for their own kind.
Why? It is very likely that humans regard dogs as vulnerable creatures, regardless of their age. Whereas, an adult human, on the other hand, is able to defend themselves.
Another explanation could be that many people love their dogs and cats as if they were children and members of the family in all respects. Naturally, this is a consideration that greatly influences their ability to feel empathy for their pets.
Age becomes an important factor when it comes to human beings, but not to dogs or other animals. In general, a human being is more likely to show empathy towards those who cannot defend themselves from violence.
Nevertheless, this research study shows that this tendency cannot be universally applied. In fact, many people who, over time, have developed a deep bond with their pets, do remain however more disturbed by the violence and abuses suffered by their own kind.
In any case, the sentiments and empathy felt towards the members of different species vary depending on the situation, and therefore exhibit all the contradictions related to this issue.