Surprise, surprise! A study published in the journal Society and Animals suggests that people feel more empathy towards dogs than other humans. In other news, water is wet.
The research gave 240 students fake newspaper clippings, with each participant reading one of four reports about an assault. The incident described an attack by an unknown assailant with a baseball bat, which left the victim unconscious with a broken leg and multiple lacerations.
The catch was that the victim varied in each of the four fake clippings: a puppy, an adult dog, a one-year-old baby, and an adult human.
The students were then asked how they felt to gauge their levels of empathy. Results showed that participants were equally concerned about the puppy, the baby, and the adult dog. The adult human, however, received the lowest amount of empathy.
“Subjects did not view their dogs as animals, but rather as ‘fur babies’, or family members alongside human children,” the researchers said.
In 2015, an experiment by medical research charity Harrison’s Fund also suggested that we love doggos more than other humans. It involved putting up an ad with either a photo of a boy or a dog. The caption read: “Would you give £5 to save Harrison from a slow, painful death?”
To no one’s surprise, more people donated to Dog Harrison than to Human Harrison.