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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Dogs Are My Favorite Kind of People. Anthropomorphism as a Tool for Animal Activism

April 25th, 2022 No comments

 

Have you ever noticed that some people treat their dogs like their children? In my house, we treat our dogs like family members. They have human names, they sleep in bed with me, and we even all wear matching Christmas pajamas. When I talk about my dog Henry, I explain his anxiety, his grumpiness, and his great need for snuggles. When I talk about my dog Georgia, I explain her clinginess, her obsession with my dad, and her toddler-like antics. I talk about them as if they are other humans living in the home. Even while writing this blog post, I am dog-sitting for my friend’s parents. The parents left us pages of specific instructions talking through the dogs’ physical and emotional needs, just like a parent would for their children’s babysitter. 

Henry in his Christmas Pajamas

I don’t often think about why we do these things, because treating dogs like family seems so normal. But when we were learning about cognitive biases in my Cognitive Psychology course, I started to see the relationship between cognitive processes and this concept of dogs as family. The way that many people treat dogs is an example of anthropomorphism. Anthropomorphism, by definition, is the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman entities like dogs. Many people view animals such as dogs and cats as companions, similar to human friends. When we see animals as similar to ourselves, we are more likely to treat them better. I am going to walk you through the benefits of anthropomorphizing animals, specifically how it can help to reduce animal cruelty and increase the ethical treatment of animals.

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Lower that cynical finger…and consider pointing it at yourself!

November 25th, 2020 No comments

Yep, we are talking about you!

I’m sure we are all accustomed to that tingling power-trip feeling of blaming all of our personal and world problems on others. Heck no, global warming is not your fault.
Heck no, you aren’t the reason why that last relationship didn’t work out. Of course your lab partner is going to take more credit for that assignment than he or she actually deserves… Right? Now I know this might be a little distressing to hear, but this whole cynical worldview you’ve got going on… It’s not a great look. Not only is it inaccurate, but it’s making you look a little bit like a Debby Downer. Now hear me out, prove to me you aren’t a hopeless cynic by fighting the assumption that this post is a jumble of nonsense written by a college student. I can give you a second to decide if you want to give this a shot…

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To cheat, or not to cheat? The cognition of relationship maintenance

image source: rm magazine

image source: rm magazine

Why stick with the girl/guy next door when a supermodel moves to town?  Long-term romantic partnerships are difficult enough to maintain on their own, without the temptation of alternative mating partners.  Why then, do people in committed relationships tend to stay faithful to one another?  Or rather, what psychological processes do people exhibit to help protect their relationships in the threat of desirable—especially physically attractive—mating alternatives?

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