Title of Presentation

The Effects of Observing Aggression and Affiliation on Domestic Dog Behavior

Type of Submission

Event

Faculty Advisor

Ellen Furlong

Graduation Year

2019

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

13-4-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

13-4-2019 10:00 AM

Disciplines

Education

Abstract

Social learning is an effective learning strategy in humans; both for good (learning adaptive behaviors) and for bad (learning negative behaviors). In a classic study Bandura (1961), showed that children increased their aggressive behaviors after observing adult models interacting aggressively with a “Bobo” doll (hitting it, kicking it, berating it, etc.). There is good reason to believe this effect is not unique to humans: Pongracz and colleagues (2002) explored the generalizability of this effect across species by demonstrating that domestic dogs can learn problem solutions through observation. Here we further this work by exploring the behaviors of dogs after observing three types of human interactions: aggression, cooperation, and affectively neutral. We hypothesize that if dogs view high levels of aggressive behaviors between two human demonstrators (for example, tug of war) they will exhibit more aggressive behaviors towards the toy (for example, ripping it, trying to engage in a tug-of-war, etc.) than if they view neutral or cooperative behaviors between two demonstrators. We further hypothesize that dogs will prefer to be closer to the ‘victim’ of aggression and more likely to take a treat from said ‘victim’ rather than the aggressor. We will share the results of this experiment, connecting it to the literature on observational learning in human and nonhuman animals alike.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 13th, 9:00 AM Apr 13th, 10:00 AM

The Effects of Observing Aggression and Affiliation on Domestic Dog Behavior

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Social learning is an effective learning strategy in humans; both for good (learning adaptive behaviors) and for bad (learning negative behaviors). In a classic study Bandura (1961), showed that children increased their aggressive behaviors after observing adult models interacting aggressively with a “Bobo” doll (hitting it, kicking it, berating it, etc.). There is good reason to believe this effect is not unique to humans: Pongracz and colleagues (2002) explored the generalizability of this effect across species by demonstrating that domestic dogs can learn problem solutions through observation. Here we further this work by exploring the behaviors of dogs after observing three types of human interactions: aggression, cooperation, and affectively neutral. We hypothesize that if dogs view high levels of aggressive behaviors between two human demonstrators (for example, tug of war) they will exhibit more aggressive behaviors towards the toy (for example, ripping it, trying to engage in a tug-of-war, etc.) than if they view neutral or cooperative behaviors between two demonstrators. We further hypothesize that dogs will prefer to be closer to the ‘victim’ of aggression and more likely to take a treat from said ‘victim’ rather than the aggressor. We will share the results of this experiment, connecting it to the literature on observational learning in human and nonhuman animals alike.