When it comes to feeling empathy, many people choose dogs over other people.
Sociologists & anthropologists from Northeastern University and the University of Colorado did a study so see peoples responses. According to the study when a report of an animal is in the headlines of a newspaper the response level is outrageous compared to one of a human.
We also found more empathy for victims who are human children, puppies, and fully-grown dogs than for victims who are adult humans. Age makes a difference for empathy toward human victims, but not for dog victims.
A British charity conducted its own dog-versus-person empathy experiment. They ran the same AD with two different pictures.
The AD read ‘Would you give £5 to save Harrison from a slow, painful death?’ version one was a picture of the real Harrison Smith, an eight-year-old boy diagnosed with Duchenne (Muscular Dystrophy). And the other AD featured the same text except with a stock photo of a dog.
When the AD’s both ran on a UK website that found that the AD that featured the dog attracted twice as many click as the one with the boy (230, compared to 111).”
Why is it that humans feel more empathy for dogs?
People who fit this study’s outcomes will often view animals as innocents and humans as not having the same purity, When I ask them why they will spend money on their dog’s health, fitness, nutrition, yet not on themselves, the overwhelming answer I get is because my dog deserves it.
In another survey:
In a fake report that was experimented with 240 students with a fake newspaper clipping of a report about an attack on a person or dog. A series of 3 news reports went around.
One being a:
- A Victim was beaten by an unknown assailant left with broken legs and multiple lacerations
- An infant victim beaten by an unknown assailant left with broken legs and multiple lacerations
- A dog puppy or adult beat by an unknown assailant left with broken legs and multiple lacerations
- When asking the students there opinion the major factor that played was the age of the victim rather than the species. The empathy
- level for the puppy and baby human were very similar, while the adult came last.
The empathy levels:
- The puppy
- The infant baby
- The Adult dog
- The human adult
- The majority of the people who took the survey didn’t see their dogs as animals but more as there “fur babies” and family members, alongside their children.
The study goes to show how people often think of their pets as part of their family