A recent Psychology Today post asked whether dog owners are better lovers. Let's look at what the new science of human-animal relationships actually reveals about the connection between love, sex, and pet-ownership.
It is widely known that in some cultures dog-meat is a delicacy. But at least a million cats a year also find their way into the stew pot. Here's what we can learn about human-animal relationships from people who dine on feline flesh.
A wildlife documentary film claims that Saudi Arabian baboons kidnap puppies and raise them as pets. Here a distinguished animal behaviorist explains why this behavior makes sense from a baboon's point of view—and why it is not a form of pet-keeping.
Temple Grandin told me that some (but not all) people with autism have a special way with animals. This new study examined the biological mechanisms behind the soothing effects Guinea pigs can have on children with autism spectrum disorders.
From an evolutionary point of view, the enjoyment of pain would seem to be maladaptive. Is there an animal analog of finding sexual satisfaction in being whipped, poked with needles, or having hot wax dripped on your skin?
How natural is a cloned cow or a chihuahua or a dolphin at Sea World? Is an outdoor cat more natural than an indoor cat? We developed a scale to measure perceptions of the "naturalness" of different animals. As you can see from this graph, our results were surprising.
Psychologists are turning to short scales to assess our attitudes and personality. We have developed several brief instruments to measure beliefs about the use of other species. You can take the 5-item Animal Attitude Scale here.