Not that we need any more proof that pets are great and that pet people are the best people, but we have it anyway. According to People, a new study finds that talking to your pet like they're a person is actually a sign of intelligence. But then, we geniuses who talk to our pets like they're people already knew that, right?
The study was conducted by a group of researchers including Nicholas Epley, a behavioral science professor at the University of Chicago. According to Epley, when we anthropomorphize (aka project human qualities onto) our pets by talking to them, we're using our intelligence to blur the line between reality (pets can't talk) and our desire (that pets can talk to us).
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"Historically, anthropomorphizing has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it's actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet," Epley said. "No other species has this tendency."
But, the study found that even among the smart humans who are willing to have full-on conversations with their pets, this isn't really a lifelong behavior. As people get older, they tend to stop talking to their pets, for fear of being labeled a "crazy old person" — which is truly upsetting.
Do you have a beloved pet who you could spend hours talking to? Tell us about it in the comments section!