Essential Reads

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

Dogs don't like people who are unhelpful or uncooperative to their loved ones

Evolutionary Basis to Differences Between Cats and Dogs

An Almost-Serious Scholarly Debate on Evolved Behavioral Differences

Humans Are a "Unique Super-Predator" Claims New Research

A new study shows humans have incredibly broad negative effects as predators

A Path of Few Regrets

The risk of decisional regret in animal end-of-life care

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

Animals in France: What Really Happened about Sentience?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 04, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Animals in France have new but very limited status, "living beings gifted sentience," but it's extremely limited in scope. They're still property, farm animals are not covered, and this change "only applies to pets or wild animals tamed or held in captivity. The sentience of wild animals, meanwhile, is not recognized." It's better than nothing but still lots to do.

What If Your Therapist Had A Dog In The Office?

A Chow Chow named Jo-Fi attended therapy sessions by Sigmund Freud: should today’s therapists have a canine assistant? How do clients feel about the dog in therapy sessions?

Environmental Stimulation and Environmental Psychology

By Lindsay J. McCunn on January 24, 2015 in iEnvironment
Returning to the theory of things.

3 Things Being A Cat Person or Dog Person Reveals About You

By Peg Streep on January 19, 2015 in Tech Support
Does knowing whether someone prefers cats to dogs or dogs to cats give you insight into who they are? Should you be asking about pets when you choose a doctor or lawyer, or hire a realtor or a nanny? Here's what science knows.... and you should too.

Practical Management Tips For Dogs With Behavioral Issues

Basic recommendations to manage a dog that exhibits fearful, anxious or reactive behavior in different situations.

Why Some Women Kill Again and Again.

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on January 12, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Sex is much farther down on the list of motivations for female serial killers. Sexual or sadistic motives are extremely rare among females. Instead, female serial murderers tend to take a much more pragmatic approach to their killings, and do so for financial profit or revenge.

Moral Stupefaction

By Jesse Marczyk on January 11, 2015 in Pop Psych
Some research has claimed that people are often found to be "morally dumbfounded", unable to explain their moral judgments with good reasons. The same research also suggests that people moralize "harmless" actions. While that may be true in some cases, in others the fault may reside within what researchers are counting as "good reasons" and "harm".

Ones vs Zeros— Inequality Reflected in 2015 Digital Design

In the science fiction world of technology predictions, the wealthy one percenters always seem to get all the attention. While tech built for them is mostly beyond reach for the rest of us, these technologies possess tremendous symbolic power--smart homes, smart cars, and on-line services conjured like magic via "on-demand." Is resistance futile?

In the Human Brain, Dogs and Children Are Equally Lovable

MRI data explores how human mothers respond to their own children and to their family dog. The similarities are remarkable.

My Pet Hates the Vet!

Why are veterinary visits so unpleasant for some pets? Learn to recognize the signs that your pet is unhappy or fearful during the veterinary. You can actively work on changing your pet’s experience in the veterinary clinic to be much more positive and pleasant.

Artificial Versus Natural Intelligence

Can we combine artificial and natural intelligence for better health?

Are Plants Entering the Realm of the Sentient?

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on December 31, 2014 in The Green Mind
Some people are still grappling with the idea that humans are not the only animals with intelligence, thought, and consciousness. Some scientists are now studying whether even plants have intelligence—sensation, awareness, integration of information, long-term memory, and adaptive learning. Their findings challenge human uniqueness.

The Jane Effect: A New Book Celebrating Jane Goodall

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 30, 2014 in Animal Emotions
Jane Goodall has had a significant impact on the lives of innumerable people and other animals. This new book contains essays about Dr. Goodall as friend, colleague, partner, professor, naturalist, exemplar, visionary, and inspiration, written by researchers and many others whose lives she has touched. It was conceived as a gift to celebrate her 80th birthday.

5 Ancient Guidelines We Should Follow Today

Our paleolithic ancestors probably didn't make New Year's resolutions - but if they did, these resolutions would have been influenced by their natural, pre-agrarian lifestyles. Perhaps for 2015, by making resolutions that consider our ancestral past, we can make resolutions that (a) are manageable and that (b) help us achieve evolutionarily appropriate outcomes.

A Different Perspective on the Human-Animal Bond

We often assume we understand our pets, but make mistakes as we have different languages. Language lets humans & animals communicate perceptions/emotions. Understanding these perceptions/emotions & the language that allows their expression is essential to developing empathic behavior towards other individuals & therefore to guaranteeing a peaceful & respectful coexistence.

A Defense of Jealousy

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on December 23, 2014 in This Is America
In Jealousy, Peter Toohey provides a charming and instructive survey of a much maligned emotion. He examines jealousy in many of its guises, including sexual jealousy, the Oedipus Complex, and sibling rivalry. Aware that it can be an ugly emotion, he argues that jealousy is an evolutionary adaptation that "can be a beautiful thing."

Giving Puppies as Gifts: What if They're "The Wrong Dog?"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 19, 2014 in Animal Emotions
The ASPCA's advertisement "Puppies Are The World's Best Gifts" troubled me. I beg everyone who is thinking of giving a puppy or other animal to someone as a holiday or other type of gift really think it through. I worry that if indeed the animal is "the wrong animal," he or she will pay a huge price for the well-intentioned move that turns into a grievous mistake.

Five Questions That Reveal How Much You Care About Animals

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on December 18, 2014 in Animals and Us
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.

Why Dogs Eat Grass—a Myth Debunked

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on December 18, 2014 in Canine Corner
Neither upset stomach nor dietary needs can explain why dogs eat grass

Why is it So Hard to Buy Presents for Others?

By Donna Barstow on December 17, 2014 in Ink Blots Cartoons
And it helps if you know they won't complain, or return anything.

Insufficient Childhood Sleep And Teenage Overweight

By Dennis Rosen M.D. on December 12, 2014 in Sleeping Angels
A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics on December 11th 2014 found a strong connection between insufficient sleep in early childhood and overweight in adolescence.

Modern Marriage

By Mark O'Connell L.C.S.W.- R. on December 11, 2014 in Quite Queerly
We can use the imagination and the will to adapt that allowed us to claim meaningful partnerships in the face of adversity--and against all odds--to remain awake, alive, and engaged with our spouses, well beyond our wedding days.

Pope Francis Says That All Dogs Go to Heaven

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on December 10, 2014 in Canine Corner
Pope Francis contradicts the long standing Catholic Church catechism by claiming that animals have souls and can enter Paradise.

The Freedom to Change Your Experience of the Holidays

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on December 08, 2014 in The Freedom to Change
Although it should be a time of joy and celebration, many of us look toward the holidays with a sense of foreboding. The good news is that once you grasp some basic principles, you can implement these twelve suggested strategies for making the most of your time with family and friends across the holiday season.

Improve How You Feel by Changing Your Attention

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on December 06, 2014 in Living Forward
You can learn to control painful emotions through the simple but highly significant process of learning to redirect your attention.

Do Animals Play for the Hell of It? Watch This Fox

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 05, 2014 in Animal Emotions
Watch this video of two red foxes discovering a trampoline. One chooses to play on the trampoline while the other is cautious and never goes onto it. The lessons offered in this video are that animals do play for fun and that personality differences can be displayed, ranging from being exploratory and playful to being very curious and cautious. I really enjoyed it.

Mindfulness Without Therapy

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on December 03, 2014 in Trouble in Mind
Every one of us is an expert in the arts of Mindfulness, Mind Wandering and Time Travel. In this first of three posts I muse about ways to experience mindfulness without therapy, yoga or relaxation exercises, and whether non-human animals demonstrate mindfulness.

The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins: We Are Not Alone

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 02, 2014 in Animal Emotions
A new book called "The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins" by renowned researchers Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendall is a must read. It is perfect for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses and also for a broad audience that is interested not only in whales, dolphins, and other cetaceans, but also in other animals in which culture is clearly and amply present.

Bonding (Physically) With Same-Sex Individuals

By Jesse Marczyk on November 30, 2014 in Pop Psych
A new papers suggests that homoerotic behavior functions to bond same-sex friends closer together. I remain skeptical.

Do Your Hobby at Work

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 25, 2014 in How To Do Life
More often than you might think, you can incorporate your hobby into your job.