Study shows people love dogs more than humans
There's an old Jerry Seinfeld joke about dogs. He says, "Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?” Sure, dogs may not be the leaders of the planet - yet - but we love them. We take them for walks in the park, train them to do tricks and dress them up in humiliating Halloween costumes. We even made a movie about them called All Dogs To Heaven. (All cats, of course, go straight to Hell).
But did you know people love dogs more than humans? I guess that shouldn't be totally surprising, since dogs always show you love, and people can often be jerks. It's just a bummer to think that if you were on a sinking ship, and there was only spot left on the life raft, they'd give it to your dog, Chewie, and leave you to be eaten by sharks. You just can't compete with this face:
In a study published in the Society & Animals Journal, researchers measured peoples' levels of empathy. A team from Northeastern University Boston and the University of Colorado Boulder gathered 256 undergraduate students together - probably by putting up a sign that said "Free Pizza." Then they presented the students with fictitious news reports of attacks with a baseball bat on a 1-year-old baby, a 30-year-old adult, a young puppy, or a 6-year-old dog. Wow, what a fun study! I love thinking about babies and puppies attacked with baseball bats. Especially puppies.
After being presented these horrific stories, the students were asked to report their level of empathy for the victims. The amount of empathy for the baby, puppy and dog victims were roughly the same. But the amount of empathy for the adult victim was to a much lesser degree. Unfortunately, they didn't measure the level of empathy if the victim was Snoop Dogg. But I'm sure it would be through the roof, because he's a national treasure.
The researchers found that the more vulnerable the victim is, the more empathy. Also, people see dogs as "fur babies."
“Respondents were significantly less distressed when adult humans were victimised, in comparison with human babies, puppies and adult dogs.
Only relative to the infant victim did the adult dog receive lower scores of empathy.
Subjects did not view their dogs as animals, but rather as ‘fur babies’, or family members alongside human children."
That's right, they're not dogs. They're "fur babies." And this fur baby couldn't be happier:
The researchers also noticed that gender had an effect on empathy:
"Female participants were significantly more empathic toward all victims than were their male counterparts."
Of course women are more empathic than men. Men have no feelings. The Y chromosome beats up all the feelings with a baseball bat before they can be registered by the brain. And then the dead feelings are released through burps and farts. That's just science.
Congratulations, dogs! We officially love you more than humans. I've always suspected that, though. Whenever I poop outside, nobody picks it up and puts it in a bag. They just call the police, and now I'm not allowed at the park anymore.