Essential Reads

Does Emotional Attachment to an Owner Change in Older Dogs?

Research shows that older dogs appear to be less emotionally secure.

Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons: A First

Two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, are determined to be persons in NY court

Ivan Denisovich vs Ants

Both More or Less Social

5 Reasons That Life Is Hard

Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

Was Hitler a Vegetarian? The Paradox of the Nazi Animal Protection Movement

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on November 17, 2011 in Animals and Us
It's scary when professors fight - especially over Nazi animal love.

The Thanksgiving Day Massacre: A House of Horrors

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 17, 2011 in Animal Emotions
If you knew the truth about the turkey you eat, a genetically engineered and tormented animal, you would seriously consider choosing another main course. Turkeys are highly sentient beings who suffer enduring pain, misery, and terror on the way to a platter. It's easy to make more humane choices. Please do so now and add compassion to a world that sorely needs it.

Myopium: New Stronger Drugs Keeping Us Euphorically Shortsighted

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 14, 2011 in Ambigamy
Are we humans becoming more shortsighted? Recently yes, mostly because we've engineered much more powerful strains of Myopium: The drugs we all take that makes us euphorically shortsighted. But long run, no? We're getting more foresightful, better at planning for tomorrow, often with the downside consequence of making us worse at planning for the day after tomorrow.

Minding Animals as Persons: Beatrice, My Mother, and Jethro, My Dog

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 14, 2011 in Animal Emotions
My mother Beatrice and my dog Jethro shared many traits that warrant calling a being a person. When my mother suffered serious physical and psychological decline she was still considered a person as she well should have been. Yet Jethro and other animals do not warrant that status. Nothing is lost by viewing nonhuman animals as persons.

Kids Think Humans Are Special

By Art Markman Ph.D. on November 14, 2011 in Ulterior Motives
There is no doubt that humans are special among all of the animals on Earth. Although, we are special, we are also members of the animal kingdom. Yet, language distorts the relationship between humans and the rest of the animals.

An Amazing Elephant Rescue That Will Make Your Day

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 11, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Sometimes interfering in the lives of wild animals overrides the usual hands-off approach and simply is the right thing to do. Witness and savor this dramatic rescue of a mother elephant and her baby when they got trapped in mud.

Do Dogs Feel Jealousy and Envy?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on November 11, 2011 in Canine Corner
In social situations dogs become jealous if they see other dogs being rewarded for behaviors, while they themselves are not.

Teaching Compassion to Kids

Fostering compassion in young people is among the best ways to prevent verbal, physical, and emotional aggression from taking root.

"What In the World Do My Essays Have To Do With Psychology?"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 11, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Knowing about nonhuman animals has everything to do with human psychology. What we think, know, feel, and believe about animals should strongly influence how we interact with them but often it doesn't. Animals are merely property in the eyes of the law and enjoy little to no legal standing. This, in and of itself, tells us lots about human psychology.

Parenting Gifted Children: Free Materials, Alternate Course Design Part 2

By Joseph Cardillo Ph.D. on November 08, 2011 in Attention Training
Many parents of gifted children wonder if you can reverse the effects of under-challenging educational programs their child is exposed to-perhaps daily?

Circuses: Wild Animals Do Not Belong in the Cruelest Show on Earth

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 07, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Circuses do nothing for the animals themselves or for other members of their species despite claims to the contrary. Circuses make no contributions to conservation. They serve no purpose other than "entertainment" if you dare to call watching abused and terrorized animals performing stupid and unnatural tricks "entertainment".

Our Place in the Zoo

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on November 07, 2011 in The Dolphin Divide
We can, indeed, talk to the animals. What might be surprising is that they can talk back. Do animals besides ourselves sometimes feel trapped by an inability to say what’s on their minds? It turns out that animals can not only meaningfully express themselves through language when given the chance—but they can do so quite eloquently on occasion.

What Makes Us Uniquely Human?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 04, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Are we the only animals who mentally time travel and have a theory of mind? Some people think so but there are data that suggest we're not. Are we exceptional in some ways? Yes we are but so are other animals.

How to Avoid Population Overshoot and Collapse

Like all other species, we have no evolved psychological adaptations specifically designed to prevent ecological overshoot and population collapse. One way to promote sustainability may be to collectively consent to a publicly supported media campaign to tweak our psychological adaptations.

Rampant Wolf Killing Makes Some People Happy

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 01, 2011 in Animal Emotions
In just 2 weeks 44 wolves have been killed, or as some say "bagged," in Montana. Some people actually find the deplorable slaughter of these magnificent animals makes them happy and to be encouraging. How in the world did such shameful and sick attitudes toward sentient beings ever evolve? Would they kill their dog? I'm afraid to ask.

A Scientific Explanation for the Emergence of Mattering from Matter

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 01, 2011 in Ambigamy
Why would we think a physicist insane if he said "the moon pulls on the tides because it wants to" but don't think a psychologist insane for saying that you do things because you want to? Terry Deacon's new book bridges the gap between matter and mattering providing the first fully scientific material explanation for how matter could become conscious.

Why Are Some Dogs So Anxious and Fearful?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on November 01, 2011 in Canine Corner
Whether a dog's fearfulness was caused by his genes or his life history there are right and wrong ways to deal with his anxieties.

Playing the Anti-Evolutionary Psychology Game

The majority of climate scientists believe that the evidence supporting anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming. So can you imagine how frustrating it must be for them to repeatedly hear the mis- and dis-information about their discipline from climate change deniers? Evolutionary psychologists too face similar uninformed criticisms.

Going "Cold Tofu" to End Factory Farming

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 31, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Who we eat defines who we are in many significant ways. Our now 7 billion mouths are the center of our universe. There's no reason ever to eat animals from factory farms. Let's work together to end factory farming and reduce ecological devastation, human disease, and animal suffering, and add compassion to the world. Pick your reason and meal plan and it's easy to do.

Why Do Chicks Like Music? Why Does Any One?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on October 31, 2011 in Animals and Us
Barry Manilow explained! Scientists have found that the chicks are born with a preference for "easy listening." music. In their experiment...

If You Speak Negativity, It's Time to Learn a 2nd Language

Depression is triggered by interactions that leave you feeling a sense of loss, disappointment and hopelessness about getting what you want. Three speech patterns, which I call the 3-D's, are especially likely to trigger depressed feelings in the receiver. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Can an Animal Be a "Slave"?

Yes, when I see elephants in chains, I do sometimes think they are "slaves"--or at least, "being treated like slaves." But I'm making species distinctions, and I don't know how to avoid that.

How Not to Enjoy Your Pregnancy

When a woman falls pregnant, the whole world gets OCD.

The Foster Care System and Its Victims: Part I

What happens when someone finds out a child has been abused? The difficult journey that leads a child to foster care is almost always a traumatic one.

Whales in Captivity: Are They Legally Slaves?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 26, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Does keeping whales (and perhaps other animals) in captivity violate the 13th Amendment ban on slavery? A pending lawsuit can change how we perceive and use other animals. It surely will lead to much needed discussion about the ways in which humans wantonly and routinely use and abuse animals in entertainment and in other venues.

Fish Don't Like Being Hooked

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 26, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Fish are sentient beings who don't like being hooked either in their mouth by a human or by other fish whom they punish when they steal their food.

Does Nonviolence Work? Notes from Occupy Oakland October 24th

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on October 25, 2011 in Acquired Spontaneity
People choose nonviolence either because it works, or because of deep values they have. In the case of the OccupyWallSt movement, the only chance that nonviolence will be adopted as a clear strategy is if people believe that it works. This requires understanding the fierce and active nature of deep nonviolence.