Study: Abused dogs garner more empathy than adult humans who have been abused

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comAugust 13, 2013 

Never underestimate the emotional appeal of a sad puppy.

Need proof? Consider this excerpt from a recent LiveScience story:

People have more empathy for abused puppies and dogs than they do for adult humans who have been abused, a new study suggests. However, empathy for abused children was about the same as that for puppies and dogs, the study found.

The conclusion comes from a study in which researchers showed college students various versions of a fake news article involving a brutal beating.

In each version, the victim had a different identity: "an infant, an adult in his 30s, a puppy or a 6-year old dog," the article notes.

When asked to rate their level of empathy for the victim, "participants had higher levels of empathy for the abused child, puppy and dog than they did for the abused adult, the study found," according to the article.

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