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Dog does trick for treats

Researchers: Dogs Evaluate How Competent Humans Are

Provided that a treat is involved. Females pay more attention to competence in humans than males, they say

At Scientific American’s “60-Second Science” podcast (with transcript), science writer Karen Hopkin interviewed Kyoto University psychologist Hitomi Chijiiwa on her team’s recent finding that female dogs actively evaluate human competence. Because one their previous studies showed that dogs avoid people who refuse to help their human friends, the team decided to also test whether dogs form judgments about people based on their apparent skilfulness or competence: Chijiiwa: We showed 60 dogs two persons manipulating transparent containers. One person is competent. Hopkin: That person was able to pop open the top after just a couple of twists. Chijiiwa: Whereas the other person is incompetent and they failed at this task. Hopkin: That person tried to open the lid, then gave up. Read More ›