In recent years the interest in animal emotions is improved. The central point is whether and in what circumstances the animals suffer for example, after strong experiences or persistent negative emotions. If animals have fear and pain experiences and if their frustration experience is the result of being unable to perform their natural behavior patterns, then this has legal and ethical importance and in turn may have major economic consequences (1). Some humans claim to be able to read emotional facial expressions in dogs, whereas others are skeptical of such a human ability. Recently, it was investigated if dog facial expressions can be identified accurately in photographs of a dog face (2). Humans were able to accurately, but not perfectly, identify at least one dog facial expression, anchored in behavioral situations that were expected to produce specific emotions. The basic question remains if this ability results from a common mammalian lineage or has been enhanced by our long shared history (3). The aim of our trial was to evaluate how teachers and students of Veterinary Medicine in Italy feel the human-animal bond about animal reference, cognition and emotion. Therefore, we organized a questionnaire according to the analytical framework based on zooanthropological predicate references: subjectivity, diversity and uniqueness; part of the work is also based on the theme of the emotions of animals and on their importance in the processes of interaction with the human. The questionnaire were administered to 935 units of the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Italy. The data obtained express interpretable results at multiple levels, interconnected among them: experimental, educational and communicative. Experimentally it shows an awareness of the active role of the animal in structure of the report, but the data are connected to the direct experience and the species of animal than the understanding of cognitive processes related to their subjectivity: cognition is recognized as basis of animal behavior only 11.6% of the sample. Very interesting is the comparison of data between favorite animal / what is an animal / cognition, which highlights the correlation between the concept of active relationship and mental processes. Another significant result is expressed by the recognition of the socialization activities as more important for the well-being animal, respect to the health care. The results indicate a trend to anthropomorphism, especially to the animal companions, linked to the lack of adequate tools for interaction, especially at communicational and ethological level. Anyway, all categories of participants consider the emotions that animals feel a focal point for their behavior and for relationship with the humans. (1) Dawkins, M. S. Animal Minds and Animal Emotions. Amer. Zool., 40:883-888 (2000); (2) Bloom T, Friedman H Classifying dogs’ (Canis familiaris) facial expressions from photographs Behavioural Processes. 96 (2013) 1-10; (3) Paxton, D.W., 2011. Why It’s OK to Talk to Your Dog: Co-evolution of People and Dogs. Watson Ferguson & Company, Salisbury, Brisbane, Australia.

HOWTEACHERS AND STUDENTS FEEL THE HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND. ANIMAL REFERENCE, COGNITION AND EMOTION

CIANI, FRANCESCA;CESTARO, ANNA;PERO, MARIA ELENA;MASTELLONE, VINCENZO;TAFURI, SIMONA;LOMBARDI, PIETRO;D'ANGELO, DANILA
2015

Abstract

In recent years the interest in animal emotions is improved. The central point is whether and in what circumstances the animals suffer for example, after strong experiences or persistent negative emotions. If animals have fear and pain experiences and if their frustration experience is the result of being unable to perform their natural behavior patterns, then this has legal and ethical importance and in turn may have major economic consequences (1). Some humans claim to be able to read emotional facial expressions in dogs, whereas others are skeptical of such a human ability. Recently, it was investigated if dog facial expressions can be identified accurately in photographs of a dog face (2). Humans were able to accurately, but not perfectly, identify at least one dog facial expression, anchored in behavioral situations that were expected to produce specific emotions. The basic question remains if this ability results from a common mammalian lineage or has been enhanced by our long shared history (3). The aim of our trial was to evaluate how teachers and students of Veterinary Medicine in Italy feel the human-animal bond about animal reference, cognition and emotion. Therefore, we organized a questionnaire according to the analytical framework based on zooanthropological predicate references: subjectivity, diversity and uniqueness; part of the work is also based on the theme of the emotions of animals and on their importance in the processes of interaction with the human. The questionnaire were administered to 935 units of the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Italy. The data obtained express interpretable results at multiple levels, interconnected among them: experimental, educational and communicative. Experimentally it shows an awareness of the active role of the animal in structure of the report, but the data are connected to the direct experience and the species of animal than the understanding of cognitive processes related to their subjectivity: cognition is recognized as basis of animal behavior only 11.6% of the sample. Very interesting is the comparison of data between favorite animal / what is an animal / cognition, which highlights the correlation between the concept of active relationship and mental processes. Another significant result is expressed by the recognition of the socialization activities as more important for the well-being animal, respect to the health care. The results indicate a trend to anthropomorphism, especially to the animal companions, linked to the lack of adequate tools for interaction, especially at communicational and ethological level. Anyway, all categories of participants consider the emotions that animals feel a focal point for their behavior and for relationship with the humans. (1) Dawkins, M. S. Animal Minds and Animal Emotions. Amer. Zool., 40:883-888 (2000); (2) Bloom T, Friedman H Classifying dogs’ (Canis familiaris) facial expressions from photographs Behavioural Processes. 96 (2013) 1-10; (3) Paxton, D.W., 2011. Why It’s OK to Talk to Your Dog: Co-evolution of People and Dogs. Watson Ferguson & Company, Salisbury, Brisbane, Australia.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/609462
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