Do you ever get uncomfortable when someone babies their animals? Talks baby talk? Carries on a regular conversation?
Well, according to this study, someone talking to their animals is a GOOD thing!
Shared by Cosmopolitan is a study conducted by experts in anthropomorphism, meaning the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object, saying that people who talk to their animals actually show more signs of intelligence.
Dr Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago told Quartz (quoted by Metro), “Historically, anthropomorphizing has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet,” and “No other species has this tendency.”
Furthermore, some animals like dogs, have learned words over time, including a Border Collie named Chaser, who is said to know about 1,000 words. In other reports, like this one from the University of York, it’s shown that it is good to “baby talk” a dog, because it helps you build a bond between the pet and the owner, similar to “baby talk” a child.
This practice is not limited to dogs, as cats will typically have the same response. If you speak to a cat in such a tone, if your cat is vocal enough, it may respond with a meow, a reaction in body language, or leading you to the object they want (most likely treats).
Anthrozoologist and professor of psychology at Western Carolina University Hal Herzog shared with The Atlantic that [Animals] “They give us a lot back! When you talk to them, they respond. Your dog might cock his head, give you a sort of quizzical look, like, Huh? I say ‘Do you wanna go outside?’ and my cat will come up to me and she’ll meow. I don’t think she’s processing words the same way we process words, but we have this communication system based on language.”
So the next time you try to carry out a conversation with your pet, don’t feel silly! You’re doing exactly what you need to be doing to keep the love alive.
Amy Cooper is one with the force and the force is with her. Follow her Jedi-quick wit at @acronymspeaks.