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.
I was shocked when my long-time vegetarian daughter asked me for suggestions about what types of meat she might enjoy. I should not have been surprised. According to new research, the vast majority of vegetarians and even vegans eventually return to meat-eating. Here are the implications for the animal rights movement.
Can interacting with dogs or horses help treat mental and physical illnesses? I recently reviewed the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of animal assisted therapies. The good news is that the vast majority of studies have reported that animal therapy works. The bad news is that...
In 1943, MGM released the movie Lassie Come Home. In the three years after the release of the movie, the number of Collies registered with the American Kennel Club jumped from about 2,000 to over 15,000 puppies a year. But was this sudden in the desire of Americans to live with a collie a coincidence or was it an example of the “dog movie star effect.”
A new study shows that just thinking about the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses causes women—but not men—to "strategically under-report" their meat consumption. Why are women more likely to lie about eating animals?
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.