Essential Reads

Do Dog Owners Make Better Lovers? Some Scientific Answers

Insights into the human-canine connection

Fear and Anxiety Affect the Health and Life Span of Dogs

Increased stress can shorten the lifespans of both humans and dogs

Why It's Time to Change How You Divide Your Time

It's not about balance. It's about doing what matters most.

Behavior Differences Between Smaller and Larger Dogs

Small and large dogs behave differently, partly because of their owners.

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

How Happy is your Marriage?

Maslow reports that the most crucial skill is knowing how to love and positive psychology research agrees. Take our quick rating scale to determine how many danger points you score in your own relationship.

Are Dog People More Prejudiced Than Cat People?

A new study finds that self-identified dog people are higher in social dominance orientation than cat people, a trait associated with prejudice. However, this seems puzzling as previous research found that dog people are also more agreeable and conscientious. Further research is needed to determine dog people really are more prejudiced than cat people and if so, why.

Life Is Cheap, if It's for Sale

Research suggests that the current system of buying and trading and selling animals “incentivizes” people to devalue animals in exchange for personal gain. This essay explores how markets lead to moral decay in relation to animals.

10 Tips for Helping Your Grieving Pet

Pets feel a loss just like people do. They can also go through a grieving process. Here are 10 ways to help your surviving pets adapt to the loss of their buddy.

10 Ancient Rules We Should All Live by Today

Good academic psychology should have the capacity to help us better understand and live our lives. Evolutionary Psychology does just that. Here's how!

Autistic Kids Train Service Dogs While Healing Themselves

A new research project shows how autistic kids improve their communication skills while helping to train young puppies. You can see this in the amazing and heartwarming video in this blog.

Can You Tell the Cat Lovers From the Dog Lovers?

We use our personal intelligence to figure out the people around us–often by collecting clues to their personalities. Whether a person loves cats, dogs, turtles or snakes provides information about them.

13 Tips From 13 Years Sick

When I began to write for Psychology Today over three years ago, one of the first articles I posted was called “10 Tips from 10 Years Sick.” It’s three years later and…I’m still sick. And so, 10 + 3 = 13, meaning it’s time for “13 Tips from 13 Years Sick.” Some have made an appearance in the earlier pieces, but that’s because some tips have a very long shelf life.

Can Dogs Warn Their Owners of Impending Migraines?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on June 16, 2014 in Animals and Us
Dogs can be keenly sensitive to subtle changes related to the health of their owners. For example, seizure alert dogs can sense the onset epileptic seizures. A new study suggests that dog can also warn about imminent migraine headaches hours in advance.

Getting Into Character

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 16, 2014 in In Excess
The potentially addicting nature of online gaming has been well documented over the last decade by many researchers. One of the unforeseen consequences of the online gaming revolution is the (sometimes seemingly extraordinary) demand for virtual within-game assets. But can the buying if such virtual asset be addictive?

Service Animal Scams: A Growing Problem

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on June 11, 2014 in Animals and Us
The present system governing the legal status of service dogs and emotional support animals is rife with abuse. Here's why:

Why Dogs and Humans, But Not Cats, Can Be Vegans

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on June 10, 2014 in Good Thinking
The curious case of dog-human co-evolution, and its impact on the foods we both can eat.

Why the Clinical Scientist Model Fails

By Gregg Henriques on June 10, 2014 in Theory of Knowledge
This blog explains why the clinical scientist model for training in clinical psychology fails. The short answer is that one cannot reduce the practice of psychology to the science.

Post-modern Anthropomorphism

What does it mean to say someone “deliberates” over choices? What does it mean to say that a person “expresses regret”? How could we tell if these are unique human abilities? Recently published data suggest that rats express regret when they make mistakes.

My Dog is Not an Animal

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on June 05, 2014 in More Than Mortal
The awareness of death may motivate people to treat their dogs like humans.

How to Measure Your Dog's Love Hormones

How we transformed our pets from farm labor to family members

Why We Feel Lustier in June

By Michael Castleman M.A. on June 02, 2014 in All About Sex
Many studies show that people are more interested in sex in summer and winter than in spring and fall.

Going In Alone or Friends With Benefits?

Why we need the company of others. There may be more benefits to companionship than bosom buddies might suspect, especially when it comes to overcoming ourselves.

You Can Get Him to Talk!

By Temma Ehrenfeld on May 26, 2014 in Open Gently
I tried these questions on the most silent man I ever knew--and he liked it.

A Proposal To Stop Breeding Dogs

By Mark Derr on May 12, 2014 in Dog's Best Friend
A feist is the generic small dog of the American South.

Can Guys Really Understand What It's Like to Be a Mother?

Being a mother is something special and unique. Though as boys and men we can imagine what this experience is like, it cannot be replicated. We might find an an approximation as boys with our pets and as men as dads. But the actual experience is unique. Happy Mother's Day to all!

Does Putin Suffer From the Napoleon Complex?

Is there such a thing as the Napoleon Complex ? And does it apply to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his need for power?

The Health and Welfare of Dogs Owned by Elderly Individuals

Some animal shelters refuse to allow elderly individuals to adopt dogs based on concerns about the quality of life for such pets. Recent research suggests that their concerns are unjustified.

How Modern Societies Violate Human Development

The modern world has been making itself into a pathological place by establishing as ‘normal’ various practices that violate basic human needs. This leads to the development of suboptimal creatures who willy-nilly destroy their habitat (yes, us!). I present a short list of violations.

Getting Clear About the Problem of Psychology

By Gregg Henriques on May 02, 2014 in Theory of Knowledge
There is no good definition for the field of psychology. Instead, it exists merely as a "collection of studies." This blog explains why, and it offers a map of the current field in a way that might help make sense of its major domains and branches.

The Ethics of Captivity: A New Book Covers All the Issues

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 30, 2014 in Animal Emotions
A new book called "The Ethics of Captivity" edited by Professor Lori Gruen is a must read for anyone who has contact with captive animals. As she notes, "there are common ethical themes that imprisonment raises, including the value of liberty, the nature of autonomy, the meaning of dignity, and the impact of routine confinement on physical and psychological well-being."

The Effect of Training Methods on the Efficiency of Learning

An interesting study based on the training of military service dogs shows that discipline-based methods involving physical force and punishment results in inferior learning and higher rates of distraction.

Becoming a Mother

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on April 29, 2014 in In Flux
Mother is a role assigned to women the moment they give birth. And in fact, they do become someone's mother. But the real "mothering" develops over time as a woman learns who her child is and how to best nurture and teach that child.

Alzheimer's As A Test of Faith

Climbing the steps alone to meet my mother in her second floor unit, I begin to feel despair. There is a real sense in which I don’t have a mother any more. I am the mother and she has become like a child. It feels more melancholy, sometimes, to have this kind of mother than not to have a mother at all.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie? When Animals Disturb Your Sleep

By Meir H. Kryger M.D. on April 25, 2014 in Sleep and Be Well
We have all been awakened by the neighbor’s howling or barking dog, meowing cat, and chirping and singing birds starting their day. Certainly being awakened by somebody else’s pet isn’t a reason why we would ever go to a doctor. Or, is it?