Study Reveals Humans Can Identify Animal Emotions

As humans, it is quite natural for us to discern the emotional state of another human being merely by watching the expressions on his/her face. A study has now revealed that humans can also identify the mental states of dogs merely by looking at their face.

Happy dog

The study involved showing the images of a police dog to some 50 volunteers, divided into two groups. The images showed a whole range of the dog’s emotions, such as the state of being sad, happy, fearful, disgusted and such.

Quite surprisingly, a whopping majority of the volunteers were able to correctly identify the mental states of the dog merely by looking at the images. 88% participants were able to discern the happiness of the dog correctly while another 70% identified his anger.

Nearly 45% of the participants were correctly able to identify the state of anger in one of the images while the emotion of sadness depicted in one of the images was identified by 37%.

According to researchers who conducted the study, we humans have evolved over thousands of years to be able to correctly identify dogs’ emotions. The evolution of humans and dogs has taken place, side-by-side, over the course of 100,000 years. And over these years, apparently the two species have learned to understand each other well.

Dr. Tina Bloom, a psychologist who lead the research, “There is no doubt that humans have the ability to recognise emotional states in other humans and accurately read other humans’ facial expressions. We have shown humans are also able to accurately – if not perfectly – identify at least one dog’s facial expressions.”

Interestingly, the study also finds that humans tend not to identify negative emotions of a dog easily. This behavior is explained by some experts as the self-fed human assumption that dogs are not aggressive.

Courtesy: Daily Mail

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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