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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>