In news that should surprise absolutely no one who has ever had a dog, a new study found that humans have more empathy for dogs than for other people. The study was conducted by researchers from Northeastern University in Boston and published in the Society & Animals journal.
Study Confirms What We Already Knew: Dogs Are Better Than People
As The Telegraph reports, the study involved 256 college students and tested if they were more emotionally disturbed by animal or human abuse. Each participant was given a fake newspaper clipping of a story about an attack with a baseball bat from an unknown assailant, resulting in a victim left unconscious with a broken leg and multiple lacerations.
The reports weren't all the same though. There were four different versions with different victims — a 1-year-old infant, a 30-year-old man, a puppy, and an adult dog.
The results? People were much more concerned for infants and dogs than they were for adult humans. And people don't stop worrying about doggos when they're grown up.
"Only relative to the infant victim did the adult dog receive lower scores of empathy," the researchers explained.
That's fair though, right? Because dogs.
"The main effect for age but not for species was significant," the researchers said. "We also found more empathy for victims who are human children, puppies, and fully-grown dogs than for victims who are adult humans."