Title of Presentation

Moral Reasoning in Dogs

Type of Submission

Event

Graduation Year

2015

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

18-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

18-4-2015 3:00 PM

Disciplines

Psychology

Abstract

A sense of morality, values predisposing right (fair, just, kind) from wrong (unfair, cruel, dishonest) appears universally across all humankind (Kinnier, Kernes & Dautheribes, 2000). But where does morality come from? Is it uniquely human or do we share some moral values with nonhuman animals? To explore these questions domestic dogs—nonhumans with exceptional social cognitive skills—were tested for moral values through a replication of a study on moral reasoning in human infants (Hamlin & Wynn, 2011). Dogs watched a puppet show with a moral (helpful) and immoral (hinderer) actor. Dogs looked longer when the neutral puppet chose to associate with the moral helper than the immoral hinderer, demonstrating that dogs, like human infants, prefer agents associate with moral helpers. This preliminary study suggests morality may be an evolved trait shared by humans and nonhumans alike.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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Apr 18th, 2:00 PM Apr 18th, 3:00 PM

Moral Reasoning in Dogs

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

A sense of morality, values predisposing right (fair, just, kind) from wrong (unfair, cruel, dishonest) appears universally across all humankind (Kinnier, Kernes & Dautheribes, 2000). But where does morality come from? Is it uniquely human or do we share some moral values with nonhuman animals? To explore these questions domestic dogs—nonhumans with exceptional social cognitive skills—were tested for moral values through a replication of a study on moral reasoning in human infants (Hamlin & Wynn, 2011). Dogs watched a puppet show with a moral (helpful) and immoral (hinderer) actor. Dogs looked longer when the neutral puppet chose to associate with the moral helper than the immoral hinderer, demonstrating that dogs, like human infants, prefer agents associate with moral helpers. This preliminary study suggests morality may be an evolved trait shared by humans and nonhumans alike.

 

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