Your suspicions are correct: Humans love dogs more than other people

Your suspicions are correct: Humans love dogs more than other people
(Picture: Getty)

The rumours are true.

Dogs really are better than people. That’s what people think, anyway.

According to new research, people love dogs more than other humans.

In the first study, published in the journal Society & Animals, 240 students were presented with fake newspaper clippings of police reports, about either a person or a dog attacked with a baseball bat and left unconscious with one broken leg and ‘multiple lacerations’.

Participants were given the exact same report, with just the victim changed – either a one-year-old baby, a 30-year-old adult, a puppy, or a six-year-old dog.

They were asked how they felt about the reports, and, as you might expect, they were more bothered about the puppy, the dog, and the baby human than they were about the grown adult. In fact, when the victims were ranked in terms of empathy, the 30-year-old human came dead last. Sorry, people.

Your suspicions are correct: Humans love dogs more than other people
(Picture: Getty)

The adult dog did receive lower levels of empathy when compared to a baby human, so age does play a role, but the adult dog still beat a grownup human – so species plays a part, too.

‘Respondents were significantly less distressed when adult humans were victimized, in comparison with human babies, puppies and adult dogs,’ said the researchers. ‘Only relative to the infant victim did the adult dog receive lower scores of empathy.

‘Subjects did not view their dogs as animals, but rather as “fur babies,” or family members alongside human children.’

Another recent study backs up that idea. A UK medical research charity staged two fake donation campaigns – each asking for £5 to save someone called Harrison.

Your suspicions are correct: Humans love dogs more than other people
(Picture: Getty)

When Harrison was a dog, he drew in more contributions than when he was human, showing that we’re much more bothered about a cute dog’s wellbeing than a random adult.

It makes sense when you think about it. Dogs and babies can’t defend themselves or raise their own money, so we’re more likely to worry about them. We tend to badume adult humans can look after themselves, so the idea of them in pain or struggling isn’t as intensely emotional as the thought of a tiny puppy receiving unfair treatment.

More: Dogs

That may seem harsh, but it’s really just a utilitarian approach. Between someone who can’t save themselves and someone who can, it’s a better use of time to save someone who can’t, and hope that the one who can will figure it out on their own.

This of course does not mean we should screw over all humans for the benefit of our dogs. But the good news is that if you find yourself thinking your dog is loads better than all other people in the world, you’re not alone. Everyone else agrees.

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