It is common to find someone who gets along better with your pets, than yourself. These people often get along with pets more than human beings.
Researchers from Northeastern University took this opportunity and dug in deeper to find the reason behind this weird phenomenon. They positively found out that these people feel more compassion for pets, especially dogs, than other humans. This is completely true in situations of abuse.
The research was published in the journal, Society and Animals, and was conducted by Arnold Arluke and Jack Levin. The duo wanted to find the reason why certain people cared more about dogs than they did with other human beings. Their experiments were focused on testing if the people were more stressed by overlooking animal abuse or by humans, themselves. This was surely an interesting way to understand such feelings.
Such a thing started out as a theory and the researchers were of the opinion that th victim’s age could be a major factor to cause a fluctuation in the distress levels due to the abuse. They also determined that the victim’s species played a major role along with that of age.
The Experiment Was Conducted To Test The People’s Love For Their Pets
The experiments involved 240 students, who were asked to share their levels of empathy. They were placed in an awkward situation involving a child or an adult being beaten with a bat and another where a puppy was being abused.
All these violent scenarios were stated to be news for the participants when in reality all of these were completely false. The articles were specifically written for the experiment itself.
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The people who read the articles about the puppy, dog, or child showed more compassion than the other group who read about the adults being violated.
The Conclusion For The Experiment
The researchers came to the conclusion that human beings feel more disturbed to watch or read about the sufferings of an animal over the painful experiment exhibited on a human. The only exception to this experiment was the involvement of abusing children.
The authors believe that such feelings are exhibited by humans due to the fact that pets are completely helpless under such situations. Age does not matter in such a situation. When it was the turn of children they, too, were viewed as helpless beings while the adults were not. They were thought to be “simply unable to defend themselves”.
The age of the victim was an important factor to trigger such a reaction. It was obvious when the participants portrayed more compassion towards children than adults being violated. It was also revealed that human beings show more empathy if the pets, who were the victims, were unable to defend themselves.