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

Sex with Animals

Is zoophilia, or sexual attraction to animals, a sexual orientation? Or is it a perversion? And is it possible to engage in zoo-sex without causing harm?

Is Your Dog Lonely?

Is Your Dog Lonely? It can be difficult to decide whether to adopt a second dog

What Does the Dog's Gaze Do?

By Mark Derr on April 22, 2015 in Dog's Best Friend
Japanese researchers make a lofty claim for what staring into your dog's eyes does to you and your dog.

Does Emotional Attachment to an Owner Change in Older Dogs?

Although older dogs may appear to be more placid and less emotionally responsive, physiological measures show that this is not the case. They may actually be reacting to stress to a greater degree than they did when they were younger.

Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons: A First

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Animal Emotions
According to the Nonhuman Rights Project, "For the first time in history a judge has granted an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a nonhuman animal…in a case brought by the Nonhuman Rights Project … Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe issued an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo.

Congress Should Declare That Mice Are Animals - Now!

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Animals and Us
In 2002, Congress declared that mice and rats and birds are not animals. A new study by PETA shows why it's time to change Federal animal protection statutes.

All Psychology Is Evolutionary Psychology

‘Evolutionary psychology’ is a redundancy, in that all psychology is evolutionary psychology. I mean this in the same sense that all anatomy is ‘evolutionary anatomy'.

Ivan Denisovich vs Ants

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn admitted that Russians were occasionally like insects. But he didn't like it.

5 Reasons That Life Is Hard

If you're like me, you've got a computer, a smart phone, a TV, a couch, some pets, a great family, and lots of awesome things - but you still often find that life is hard. Evolutionary psychology can help explain why.

The Gold Standard for Healing the World...

Remember an incident when someone listened deeply to you and then talked with you when you were in a bad place. Would you want to honor that person if you could? If so, they would just want you to do onto someone else what they did onto you. Isn't that so?

Did Dogs Hack the Oxytocin Love Circuit?

A paper published today in the journal Science challenges us to consider whether every study that compares wolves and dogs can shed light on domestication.

Dogs, Humans, and the Oxytocin-Mediated Strong Social Bond

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A new study has shown that mutual gazing by dogs but not wolves increases oxytocin levels in humans. To demonstrate there was a causal relationship, when oxytocin was administered to a new group of dogs before they interacted with their owners, the researchers saw an increase in the extent of mutual gaze between owners and dogs and an increase in oxytocin in the humans.

Why Writing for Psychology Today Is a Good Idea

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A recent essay called "Prof, no one is read you" shows why writing for popular audiences is more effective than publishing in professional journals. It turns out that "82 per cent of articles published in humanities are not even cited once. No one ever refers to 32 per cent of the peer-reviewed articles in the social and 27 per cent in the natural sciences."

Treatments Available to Long Term Abduction Victims

A variety of therapeutic techniques that focus on empowerment and reconnecting with family can help abduction victims heal.

Wildlife Services Slaughtered 2.7 Million Animals in 2014

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 15, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Wildlife Services, more appropriately called Murder Inc., wages a horrific war on all types of wildlife using inhumane and indiscriminate methods. In 2014 they killed 2,713,570 animals. Wildlife Services kills using taxpayers money and there is enormous collateral damage and what they call "unintentional killing." Fortunately, their killing ways are being scrutinized.

Is There an Epidemic of Fake Service Dogs?

In order to gain access to public places such as restaurants and hotels with their pets a number of people are purchasing service dog vests and meaningless assistance dog identification cards and certificates from commercial online service dog registries. These do not require that the dog be trained nor that the person have a disability.

Time to Tidy Up Your Head

By Susan B. Winston LMFT on April 13, 2015 in Shift Happens
When a book about tidying up your home hits the top of the best seller's list, there's got to be something worth reading in it. Or maybe this is just a wake up call for all of us to look at the kind of cleaning up we really need to do. The author asks that you completely empty your drawers and closets. I ask that you completely empty out your head.

"Squash It!”

We tend to focus on ‘squashing’ ‘bad’ behavior, A shift in perspective to examining the motivations behind the behavior may ultimately prove more useful.

Putting Music to the Words

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 in Talking Apes
In animal communication systems, you can have either syntax or semantics. Human language, however, integrates the two. As a result, our range of expression is almost limitless.

Gracing Clients’ Lives

Boomer died suddenly at age 9, leaving a trail of progeny and well wishes for his therapy work with clients.

Understanding Behavior via the ToK System

By Gregg Henriques on April 11, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Think you know what the term behavior means? Guess again. However, the unified approach helps make sense out of this central concept.

What's in a Name? A Lot More Than You Think.

What are the little things in your room and your life telling you?

Is Competition Between Men Healthy?

In moderation, competition is a normal, healthy human expression and way to strengthen ourselves. But it is not uncommon for competition to be taken to extremes, and manipulated to feed a man’s ego. If left unaddressed, unhealthy competitiveness can lead towards detrimental relationships and other long-term problems for men.

Chimpanzees and Cheesecake

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 07, 2015 in Talking Apes
Chimpanzees use sound symbols to communicate about food.

Worms Sniff Out Cancer in Urine Better than Blood Tests

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 03, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Researchers using what they call a Nematode Scent Detection Test (NSDT) discovered that its sensitivity was 95.8% and "this is markedly higher than that of other existing tumour markers." Who would have thought a roundworm could be such a reliable cancer detector? I think the discovery of this new test should be made widely known.

Cultural Differences

While attributing human characteristics to animals is cute in movies, and potentially a cause of misunderstanding between the species, it can be useful to help humans understand our 'cultural differences'.

Do We Project Our Own Personalities Onto Our Dogs' Behavior?

Dogs can be a sort of psychological mirror since people sometimes use their own personality tendencies to fill in the gaps when trying to interpret ambiguous dog behaviors.

The Modern Savage: A New Book Questions Why We Eat Animals

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Animal Emotions
James McWilliams' book "The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals" is a very thoughtful work about our meal plans where he covers the ecological and ethical reasons for not eating other animals and shows that labels such as "cage free," "free range," and "humanely raised" are not necessarily sound and ethical. There's a good life beyond beef and after meat.

The Emotional Lives of Rats: Rats Read Pain in Others' Faces

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A new study shows that rats are able to read the pain that other rats are suffering. When are those people who are responsible for writing legislation to protect animals from invasive and abusive research going to use the scientific information that is readily available to protect them from unnecessary harm, pain, and death? The federal Animal Welfare Act is lame.