Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Do Dogs Detect Deception?

23.10.2009
With those big brown eyes, you might figure your dog knows what you’re thinking. With a dismissive sniff, she’s telling you she knows when your cry of “treats!” is really a hoax to get her back in the house.

But does she really? Can dogs understand deception?

Mark Petter, a Dalhousie *University PhD student in clinical psychology, wanted to find out whether dogs could recognize if humans had the intention of deceiving them. Research he conducted as an undergraduate student at the University of Western Ontario has just been published in the October issue of Behavioural Processes, a journal dedicated to high-quality original research on animal behaviour.

The results showed that dogs didn’t differentiate between the human “cooperators” or “deceivers” to a remarkable degree.

... more about:
»Dogs »deception »human tester

“We thought they’d be better at it because dogs seem to be so sensitive to social cues from humans,” says Mr. Petter, a dog lover all his life. Through the interview, his dog Duenna lies at his feet and perks up at the mention of her name. “But there’s no evidence dogs can understand the intentions of a deceiver, nothing that told us the dogs thought, ‘hey this person is deceiving me, I shouldn’t listen to them.’”

In the experiments, dogs were allowed to choose between two containers, one of which contained a food reward. A cooperative human tester stood behind and pointed to the baited container on half the trials, and a deceptive human tester pointed to the empty container on the other half of the trials. While the dogs approached the cooperator more often than the deceiver, the difference was not significant enough to indicate an understanding of the intentions of the deceiver. “They had a lot of time to learn what was going on, but they never really picked up on it,” says Mr. Petter.

In comparison, studies done with apes revealed the apes could differentiate between cooperators and deceivers: “Most apes learned to never approach the person who was lying to them, and even learned to deceive the humans.”

For centuries, dogs have been valued by their humans for their trusting, loyal natures, which may explain why they’re so lousy at figuring out when someone’s trying to trick them. But Mr. Petter says the experiments didn’t differentiate between breeds and it’s possible that some breeds would fare better at the experiments than others.

Since coming to Dalhousie to do graduate work in chronic disease a few years ago, the Ontario native figured his research with dogs was behind him. But maybe he was deceiving himself?

He’s now researching whether owning a dog helps people recover and maintain their health after undergoing a life-changing experience, such as heart surgery.

“Do dog owners exercise more? Are they able to maintain higher physical activity levels over the course of the year?” asks Mr. Petter, 27. “Something tells me if you’ve got a dog at the door with its leash in its mouth, that that may have an affect on whether you go for a walk.”

Charles Crosby | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.dal.ca

Further reports about: Dogs deception human tester

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>