Talk:Emotion in animals

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The opening statement that there is no scientific consensus on emotion in animals is incorrect. The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness produced on July 7, 2012 by a "prominent international group of cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientists gathered at The University of Cambridge" offers the scientific community's assessment of emotion in animals and states, "The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states." It would perhaps be more accurate to state that it has historically been a controversial topic, however, it's no longer appropriate to state that there is no scientific consensus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Other than "why is this even a question!?!?" it shocks me that the "article" fails to define human emotion and any emotion at all. When I tried to track any references that would lead me to an understanding of the main matter being discussed, I didn't find any references (other than a completely unjustified equiparation of emotion to conscience (funny because i always thought of them as opposites, and THAT is something that neuroscience CAN prove). I dunno... this needs a serious rewrite, maybe addressing scientific bias and rhetorics of science. (talk) 14:06, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Here is some terminology from the Animal Rights community. I think some of it would provide a good contrast to the other terminology. Anthropocentrism could be used in conjunction with anthropomorphism within the intro to the article.


Anthropocentrism: This is routinely defined as: 1.Regarding human beings as the central element of the universe. 2.Interpreting reality exclusively in terms of human values and experience. It is worthwhile to compare this definition with Ethnocentrism, which is usually defined as: 1.Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group. 2.Overriding concern with race. Anthropocentrism can then also be redefined as: Belief in the superiority of one’s own species. (sometimes referred to as Speciesism, Human Chauvinism, Spiritual humanism, Secular humanism)

Human Supremacy myth: the conviction that human beings as a species or group, are superior in value to all other life, based upon arbitrary or subjective criteria conveniently determined by those who stand to benefit from the discrimination.

Anthropocentric myopia: This may be defined as the condition demonstrated when the ethical and practical arguments used in an attempt to ethically justify the harm caused to non humans, fail to address and counter the effects these very same arguments would have if applied fairly and equally to situations involving humans.

Oh come on!, this is the biggest bit of crap I have yet to see. Somebody seems to have written directions on how to write with a giant POV. What in the world does the jargon of some animal rights groups have to do with an encyclopedic view of animal emotion?. I am not in the habit of removing anything from talk pages and won't do so now, (the single instance I have was somebody yelling a racist slur, without signing it) but I think this is terribly biased and encourages bias in other wikipedians. Wikipedia is not a propaganda tool.Colin 8 19:18, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Taken from here: --Steele the Wolf 21:15, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


The absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence. Saying that for animals to have emotions they must feel things as we do, is like saying that for plants to absorb energy they must do digestion in the same way we do. If we accept our emotions as part of a necessary evolutionary process, then why is it that other species have sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste as we do... they also have fear and curiosity and panic... but they don´t have the evolutionary privilege of emotions? compare the human genome with a rat´s, a monkey´s, dog´s, or a kangaroo´s and see how much we have in common... so we are more than 90% the SAME, we all share a common biology and evolutionary context, but not emotions? is there a practical reason for nature to be SO SELECTIVE about us? tell me of one single major evolutionary trait that is exclusively present in one species trough out this planet. And for those who think emotions are not a major evolutionary trait, observe how our own civilization was developed, motivated and shaped by emotions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Why such a question ?[edit]

It IS obvious that non-human animal feel emotions, because they have expressions showing fear, pleasure, sadness... I just saw the top of the article and sorry for having a not really scientific attitude by doing it, but I don't feel I needed to read more. Bête spatio-temporelle (my name)

Not Objective[edit]

Other than the first paragraph, this article is fairly biased towards the position of animals having emotions equatable to human emotion.

True this article is not objective - it is fairly antropocentric (ie humans are a priori more important and complex than animals).Arnoutf 08:36, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I concur with this, I think this article should be labeled as Not compliant with the NPOV policy. The "animals have no emotions" POV it's not present.

Under the section "Approaches to studying animal emotions" the quote from "When Elephants Weep" seems to me like a classic example of begging the question; assuming in advance the animal emotion as a fact rather than the matter in discussion. Therefore, I think it should be deleted, it's logically flawed. Alexander Baez 05:22, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

This whole article is biased, it assumes something that may or may not be so and attempts to prove it. It makes grudging attempts at NPOV which all point toward the fact that from a scientific, quantifiable perspective animals have no emotions. It gives citations with no external links, I can't even be certain the editor isn't making them up. And the last two of three references seem biased and unscientific (if they are biased they have to be unscientific, regardless of whether there true). Also, it doesn't mention a real problem with animal emotions, that without sentient thought how can one have emotions?. If an animal can't think as we understand thinking than how can it feel in a non physical way?. And what about instinct?, which this article fails to mention at all. Instinct is still accepted as the driving force behind animal behaviour I believe. If an animal is just acting under internal survival programming than can it have emotion? (based on clinical definition of emotion). I am not saying it can't, I personally believe that higher animals like dogs and apes can feel emotion in a semi-comparable way with humans, whereas I feel that smaller animals like lizards ans spiders and such cannot. But this is just my own opinion, with no science behind it whatsoever. I don't intend to write an article with a few citations from like minded people that can't be linked to that says this, because its an opinion and two other individuals agreeing with me is three opinions, but its still not science.Colin 8 19:09, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that there is a POV in the article, however there is also a POV in science dating back to 1753, when the mainstream scienctific community, informed by religious (Christian) beliefs (e.g. "God made man in his image" superior to the "dumb beasts", the "Great Chain of Being", etc, etc) came up with the term "anthropomorphism", which itself expresses a position of unscientific bias. This blind-spot on the part of scientific culture is a self-contradictory (if not hypocritical) one, because science has *not* proven that animals don't have feelings, thoughts, etc. (Only an overly simplistic approach to the idea of emotions and the nature/s of consciousness can allow these assumptions to be made. These are very complex and nuanced concepts and there is far from being any consensus.)--TyrS (talk) 06:18, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Emotion vs. Instinct[edit]

Aren't emotions simply instincts given depth with human intelligence? For instance, fear is a survival response, as is the bond between mother and child that we humans call love. --M.Neko 08:25, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Animals have feelings!! Why don'tsome people understand this?! User:Mitternacht90

I have had many pets, and I can see from the way they act that they have distinct personalities. The fact that we don't have a common language with animals makes it hard to prove scientifically that they have feelings.
Yes, but it's equally impossible to disprove, therefore unscientific to assume it's not the case. Science has traditionally been informed by religious beliefs in this regard. It's a massive blind-spot. (please see also my response above under "Not objective")--TyrS (talk) 06:22, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

From Vegetarianism in Buddhism: "Those are humans, elephants, horses, dogs, snakes, lions, tigers, leopards, bears and hyenas because these animals can be provoked by the smell of the flesh of their own kind or the eating of such flesh would generate a bad reputation for the Sangha."

To the extent that this is correct of some animals (not all in the list, and probably more than this), this would indicate certain emotional responses that are analogous to such in humans (though humans, and all animals [even herbivores] can be cannibalistic under certain circumstances or in certain cultures). If animals in fact do have emotions, whether these are fully analogous to human emotions (and which ones are, in which circumstances) is the real question.

"It is curious that the study of animal behavior should demand that its practitioners turn themselves into alexithymics." -- I think this is actually an artifact of the abstract empirical (not, per say, scientific) method. -- 23:45, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

What does that mean? FT2 (Talk) 00:27, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

This comment (Uppercase mentioning piggies) seems spammy (it's repeated at the end of this page). If there's no objection i will delete it. Alexander Baez 05:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed Alexander Baez 05:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


The paragraph starting "For example, an animal may make certain movements and sounds"... was tagged as a reference. I think it probably needs a reference, but it isn't one. I've kind of fixed it,[1] but it still needs more work. The sentences starting "Put crudely, the behaviorist argument is,"... and "Publishers description states that the book:"... were also marked as references.[1] It might be worth the editors of this article having a read of wikipedia's verifiability policy[2] and references style guide [3] - this is the sort of article that really needs references if it's to avoid turning in to an essay from one point of view.[4]. I've referenced this paragraph up because I thought it might be a useful example of Cite.php references[5] - I find them the easiest way to add sources. --HughCharlesParker (talk - contribs) 18:47, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

This article needs a lot of work. The references are not by true emotion researchers. Important authors (Frans de Waal; Panksepp) are lacking, furhtermore we should at least mention "The expression of emotions by animals and Humans (1871)" By Charles Darwin as this is a seminal work on emotions by a biologist. Arnoutf 08:39, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Then add these :) Or describe them here for those who aren'taware of the major researchers you're thinking of. Who were they, and what were the main points they made? That sort of thing, in summary.
On a more down-to-earth note -- that said, I don't get the impression there are such things as "true emotion researchers" as opposed to "false emotion researchers" or "spurious emotion researchers". There will be credible researchers and notable parties in the debate, who approach from different angles, and with different conclusions. A good article presents and summarizes them all. If we're presently missing or understating a major credible viewpoint, then it's worth reviewing that lack. FT2 (Talk | email) 14:55, 18 January 2007 (UTC)







Okay, STOP TYPING IN CAPS. I do agree that things like fur, leather, etc. are unnecessary. But meat is. If animals feel, which I do think they do, we need to stop Tigers and owls from killing other animals. We don't do that because meat is a natural part of their diet. It has also been proven that humans, like any other omnivorous animal, are meant to eat a combination of meat and other foods.

That being said, I don't agree with hunting animals for the use of making fur clothes, leather, just hunting for fun, etc. FinalWish 03:04, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Wait did I read that right? Are we discussing whether animals have nerves now?

I thought it was emotion? Can't we just prove it by mesureing the quantities of chemicals in the blood the cause emotion? (I think it's mainly adrenaline so we wouldn't be able to distinguish between emotions. Then again I'm not even sure if emmotions are expressed by chemicals. It's a confuseing subject and I have no intention of being flamed for getting the facts wrong.)

oh and I'm pretty sure that they do just kill the animals before the butcher them. I agree that keeping them alive in the hopes that they're organs grow back is pretty sick. Especially seeing as it won't work.

Re: approaches to studying animal emotions[edit]

this section is yet another problem with this article, it doesn't actually give an approach to studying animal emotions, instead it makes a point that appears to be designed to get the reader to assume that animals must have emotions because we can't prove it. That is, that we can't know if animals have emotions because they can't tell us, but we can't know humans have emotions either (the fact that scientists are as certain about human sentience as about anything to do with human behaviour, whereas animal emotion is not largely accepted, eccept perhaps on an intuitive level) an therefore animals must have emotions because humans do but we can't be sure that humans do and we can't be sure that animals do so animals must. Its an incredibly circular argument. regardless, these are not approaches to studying animal emotions because it doesn't explain approaches to study animal emotions and even if it did its not approaches its an approach which is clearly not encyclopedic. Besides, as I put forth earlier the book in question is biased, unsientific (in that its not accepted by most scientists as fact) and can't be linked. For all these reasons I am deleting this section. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Colin 8 (talkcontribs) 20:07, 16 April 2007 (UTC).sorry I forgot to sign again Colin 8 20:07, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Back again, I keep reading this article and finding problems the farther down I go. How can a book that is not notable enough and an author who is not notable enough to have an article on wikipedia be worth several paragraph's?. It refers to Jonathan Balcombe as a leading animal behaviourist, if true wouldn't he be notable?, or his book?. It does not say if this book is accepted science or has been peer reviewed and then gives a quote that apparently came from Wayne Pacelle from the Humane Society, I have no way of verifying if he actually said this, if the book referenced actually exists, or its validity. it says the book combines rigorous evidence, elegant argument and amusing anecdotes. If the evidence is rigorous then explain it, and again is it accepted by the scientific community, has it been peer reviewed. Of course whether the arguments are elegant and the anecdotes amusing are opinion, nothing more. I am removing it.Colin 8 20:23, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Jaak Panksepp on mammal emotions[edit]

Here are some sources. I heard this guy talk on Radio Open Source, episode "New Zoology."

Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science Professor Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Bowling Green State University Head, Affective Neuroscience Research, Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, Northwestern University Phone: (509) 335-5803 Email: Office: McCoy Hall

But I haven't yet read his work yet,

but here:

and here:

He mentioned seven bioloically based maammalian emotions: 1 seeking or exploring 2 fear 3 panic 4 rage 5 lust 6 nurture 7 joy or play which he would say each of those have tangible regions in the brains. were i not such a spaz I'd wread his stuff and make an entry myselr but i am tired tired iterd. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:44, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

"in the sense that humans understand"[edit]

First we must define in which sense, particularly, do we understand it; then we can address the question. --VKokielov (talk) 03:06, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Elephants-Animal's Feelings[edit]

I think another good piece of evidence about animals feeling are elephants. Elephants are known for mourning for a loss in their herd. The herd of elephants will cry for their loss ones.

This is my soft spot. I do believe animals have feelings. I think that they understand just as much as we do about hopelessness, sadness, etc.. I think that to live emotions is a key importance of survival. You need to survive socially, but also you need to survive as an animal. (talk) 01:50, 3 March 2008 (UTC)Cardinal Raven

Actually, I agree there's a big (heh) gap here. Elephant mourning has been extensively studied, as has adoption outside the herd, and, of course, memory. --Relata refero (disp.) 18:21, 14 July 2008 (UTC)


This paragraph in particular seems to be unnecessarily...wordy, garrulous, discursive, even.

While different sections of humanity have had very different views on animal emotion, the examination of animals with a scientific, rather than anthropomorphic eye, has led to very cautious steps towards any form of recognition beyond the capacity for pain and fear, and such demonstrations as are needed and engendered, for survival. Historically, prior to the rise of sciences such as ethology, interpretation of animal behavior tended to favor a kind of minimalism known as behaviorism, in this context the refusal to ascribe to an animal a capability beyond the least demanding that would explain a behavior. Put crudely, the behaviorist argument is, why should humans postulate consciousness and all its near-human implications in animals to explain some behavior, if mere stimulus-response is a sufficient explanation to produce the same effects?

The article would be much improved if this were simplified somehow. —LaPianista! «talk» 03:07, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

YES! Somebody please rewrite!! The entire article is very repetitious, and often the repeats are of unhelpful ideas, such as the idea, expressed over and over, that there is very little evidence and a lot of controversy..... Db4wp 16 June 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Db4wp (talkcontribs) 18:31, 20 June 2012 (UTC)


Just placing this here for future reference. Its a useful summary of the state of the debate, especially with ref to the great apes and the exceptionalism of elephants. --Relata refero (disp.) 10:50, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Why the question? This article is very unclear and has no real information about the subject![edit]

Why is the article primarily written as a big question?? What is the question, is it the definition of the word emotion or is it whether animals feel the same thing as human emotion or is the question whether or not animals feel in any sense??? If evolution is right, then human emotion did not simply develop from one generation to the next, it's been shaped into it's current state through billions of years! Off-course non-human animals feel, and off-course they have emotions! And off course they don't have human emotions, only humans have human emotions, i mean that's logical! A gorillah does not feel elephant emotion either, and nor do humans feel gorilla-emotions, cause that wouldn't make much sense now would it!? And i don't really think that science doubts in anyway that different animals experience emotions, and emotions of different nature respective to what animal we're talking about. I don't think scientists doubt either that different animals share some simillarities in the way they experience emotion! This article is stupid and should be deleted cause theres not really any information about the subject in the title, there's just one huge stupid question mark in this article!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mortenrobinson (talkcontribs) 22:54, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


Seeing as no one else seems to be discussing this I feel a little out of place. I thing that this artical shouldn't be merged with the bigger artical of Emotion as its such a contaversal subject and it helpfully contained within this sub artical thing. Adding it to emotion would make reading through it a much more laborious process and might fill the discusion page with all of the heated debates above. —Preceding unsigned comment added by The Lonely Man (talkcontribs) 10:47, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Agree with Lonely Man. Emotion in animals has been and is still somewhat controversial while emotions in humans have been widely acknowledged and studied for centuries. Merging these two would not be helpful since there is bound to be more additions to this article as research is conducted. Bob98133 (talk) 15:33, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Agree – there is an increasing body of research concerning emotions in animals. This article needs expanding, not merging. See also the related topic: Pain in animals. --Geronimo20 (talk) 06:34, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

More Research Needed | Distinctions between Pets and Humans / Wild Animals[edit]

This entire article needs more research. Just because animals don't talk or trigger facial or audible reactions certainly does not mean they do not express combinations of feelings known as 'emotions'. For instance, when a dog is happy when his master gets home, they wag their tail. When a dog is sad they whimper. Ashamed, they tuck their tails and roll over in submission. These are all expressions of emotions the same way we have emotions and cannot be disproven anymore than the signs or words we use to describe our emotions that come from deep within our instinctual brain. User:freq32 12:26, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Since animals cannot speak or write we have to make this judgement upon their actions and body language. (Just think if you could not speak or write .. how would you show emotion?) User:freq32 06:54, 19 November 2010 (UTC) User:freq32 (talkcontribs) 06:19, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Delete section on fish[edit]

I think most people would agree this article has many problems, but we need to start somewhere. I propose that the section on fish is deleted. It is a single article which found personality differences between fish. This is NOT emotions.__DrChrissy (talk) 20:35, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Amphibian emotions[edit]

I'm interested in whether or not amphibians have emotions. Like frogs, toads, newts, etc. Is there any proof of this? I have toads, and I consider them to be my children. I've taken them from the wild and raised them since they were young. And I KNOW that they have emotions, deep down. But are there any sources of scientific evidence or proof? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:18, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Propose to replace lead picture[edit]

The lead picture purporting to show a horse kissing a man is rather biased and potentially misleading (the man might be kissing the horse!). I suggest it be replaced with the following template.__DrChrissy (talk) 16:19, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Inappropriate deletions[edit]

I have reinstated some recent inappropriate deletions. The first deletion is accompanied by an eccentric edit summary which makes makes a number of false charges. The deleted passage is referenced with two widely cited papers involving 6 authors: the first paper has been cited 88 times and the second paper has been cited 196 times. Very little effort is needed to establish the notability of the principal author.

The second deletion is accompanied by a claim in the edit summary that this "doesn't tell us anything". That claim indicates that either the deleting editor didn't read the cited article, or did read it but didn't comprehend it. --Epipelagic (talk) 00:30, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. Even before reading your posting here I had re-instated the deletion of Occam's Razor, and expanded it with Morgan's Cannon. Any paper published in Animal Behaviour or Applied Animal Behaviour Science will have been through a thorough peer-review process and is hardly WP:OR. __DrChrissy (talk) 00:57, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
WP:CITE: "Wikipedia's Verifiability policy requires inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged..." I have therefore redeleted the material on Occam's Razor as no citations were given after a challenge, as well as challenged the bit about Morgan's Cannon. A source should be easy enough to provide for that if it has its own article.
Regarding the passage...

"Emotions in dogs have been studied using magnetic resonance imaging."

This was deleted because the information on Wikipedia does not say anything important. It says "we studied dog emotions with this tool"... And? So what? I could study dog brains with a microwave, but it's not worth publishing in this encyclopedia until I actually produce some meaningful results. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of links, nor is it a scientific journal. If there is something noteworthy in the article worth mentioning, feel free to mention it. Otherwise, it's not worth the weight because the event is insignificant.
Finally, this passage...

The existence and nature of personality traits in dogs have been studied (15,329 dogs of 164 different breeds). Five consistent and stable "narrow traits" were identified, described as playfulness, curiosity/fearlessness, chase-proneness, sociability and aggressiveness. A further higher order axis for shyness–boldness was also identified

...has two sources, both from the same author. I don't know about you but this smells like self promotion to me, and the author isn't even notable enough for his own Wikipedia article. It seems to contradict the section on "Etymology, definitions, and differentiation" in that it invents weird emotions like "playfulness" and "chase-proneness". I'm not an expert in the field, but that's why it seemed particularly suspicious. If you say that that paper has been cited by other authors, fine. But don't expect me to know exactly where you were looking when you determined his reliability. PraetorianFury (talk) 18:21, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you nailed it when you say you don't know where to look. You are bordering on being disruptive here. The text could always be made clearer for readers who find it difficult to follow. But savaging the article with ill considered deletions is not the way to go. Please read WP:BLUE and see if you can adopt a more constructive and collegial approach to dealing with your problems with this article. --Epipelagic (talk) 00:09, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up on WP:BLUE. Very useful for dealing with disruptive editors.__DrChrissy (talk) 00:21, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Deleting 3 sentences is "savaging" the article? Hah. It's funny how you try to condescend to me when the most support from policy that you can get comes from an essay. Disruptive editing is restoring contested material without a citation. Disruptive editing is removing warning templates to hide potential problems. Disruptive editing is assuming ownership of an article.
In any case, we're not done here. What is so significant about measuring dog emotions with an MRI? PraetorianFury (talk) 00:51, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I have no idea who added this statement about MRI, but surely rather than just deleting it and being disruptive, it would be better to be constructive; research the statement and expand on it. At the very least, tag it with something indicating more information is needed. If you research it and find it is untrue, delete and leave an appropriate edit summary. Be constructive rather than disruptive.__DrChrissy (talk) 01:15, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Deleting material is not "disruptive" and it is not my responsibility to research every trivial or nonsensical thing any anon can conceivably add. I do not have to justify deletions, adding editors have to justify additions. If you are so insistent on this material's inclusion, then you should research its significance. As a compromise and incentive, I'll add a warning template to the passage to be removed when significance is established. PraetorianFury (talk) 21:07, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Interpretation - Occam's Razor and Morgan's Canon[edit]

An editor recently deleted sections of "Interpretation - Occam's Razor and Morgan's Canon". The study of emotions in animals is highly complex and open to interpretation. Lay people can be extremely anthropomorphic and anthropocentric when they observe animal behaviour, and will often make incorrect conclusions about the animals emotions and motivations. Occam's Razor and Morgan's Canon are two easily understood principles to help people avoid making this mistake. I really do not understand the edit summary about "salvaging" something. I have not supplied references because there are WP articles on both these - I have already linked to these.__DrChrissy (talk) 18:12, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

It's not our responsibility nor right to tell users to be cautious. This is blatant original research. You can't go around and add whatever you feel is important to articles where you want users to be suspicious. If Occam's Razor is mentioned repeatedly in the context of the discussion on "Emotion in animals", then there should be sources to give, in which case you can give them and I will have no complaints. If it is not mentioned repeatedly, then there are no sources, and the material needs to stay out. PraetorianFury (talk) 18:26, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Your reversion without discussing on the Talk page first (as politely requested) is extremely close to disruptive editing and I am considering reporting this. Any student of animal behaviour is taught (usually in the first year) both Occam's razor and Morgan's Cannon - it is hardly WP:OR. I am not sure you fully comprehend the principles and their relation to animal emotions.__DrChrissy (talk) 19:06, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Your reversion without sources is a clear breach of policy, so go ahead and incriminate yourself. What your experience was in college does not matter. Being an expert on the topic does not matter. Policy states that we are not required to trust you, because here you are just another editor. If you want to publish a book or a paper, go ahead, you can say whatever you want. But Wikipedia requires reliable sources, not your assertions. PraetorianFury (talk) 19:12, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

September 2016 - Section removed again, for similar recommendations that interpretation guidelines aren't appropriate. At all times non-bias, non-leading verbiage should be used, and in doing so, no section recommending readers interpret the material a certain way, is necessary. While Morgan's Cannon is more applicable than Occam's Razor, Morgan's Cannon should be added to a perspectives section, and not used as an interpretative guideline on this article. Especially when other such researchers in the same page argue otherwise to Morgan's recommendation. Occam's Razor has nothing to do with the emotional study in non-human animals, and as an inclusion shows a distinct bias in research interpretation. This proposed bias is further supported by the proponent of the section being quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, WP seems to follow the thought that humans are not animals," in this talk section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

You are obviously quoting me, but I am not sure how this is relevant to your argument - please clarify. DrChrissy (talk) 18:39, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
@| Furthermore, I note from your contributions that you only opened your account today and you have only contributed to this article. Have you edited previously on WP? DrChrissy (talk) 19:05, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

"Emotion in animals" seems like a redundant title[edit]

Hi, I was really confused by the title of this article "Emotion in animals". The title seems redundent and would be better off called "Emotion" or merged with the existing article on emotion. I can't seem to find articles for Emotion in plants, Emotion in fungi, or articles for emotion in any other kingdom of life. Honestly, I can understand why those articles don't exist. I have never heard about emotion being observed or discussed in any organism outside of the animal kingdom. This brings me to why it is redundant. Why specify that the article is about Emotion in animals when emotion is a trait that seems exclusively animalian. It would be like calling an article Brains in animals or Leaves in plants. I don't understand why the distinction needs to be made. TBWarrior720 (talk) 11:21, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

TBWarrior720, yes, I tried to change the title of the article to a less confusing "Emotion in nonhuman animals", which conveys the distinction the authors have in mind. But no consensus was reached; and I didn't pursue the suggestion further. --Davidcpearce (talk) 11:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunately, WP seems to follow the thought that humans are not animals. I edit a lot of animal articles and if allowed, I would follow Davidcpearce's suggestion of using "nonhuman", however, there are many editors out there that say this would be redundant because using the words "human" and "animal" is sufficient distinction. Rather blurs the idea of accurately informing the readers don't you think?__DrChrissy (talk) 17:29, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. It might be "enough", but it is factually incorrect, which I think is what matters? Academic use would necessarily be "non human animal". 05/10/2016 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Lead image[edit]

It seems rather unusual to have a question asked in the caption of the lead image. Is there a WP policy on this? I am also a little concerned about the neutrality of having elephants in the lead image. Many people believe that elephants have the capacity for "higher" emotions such as grieving for their dead, however, these claims do not stand up to rigorous scientific analysis. The elephant lead image is very eye-catching, however, I feel a different species would perhaps be a bit more neutral.__DrChrissy (talk) 11:41, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

The caption can easily be reworded so it is a statement. But I'm not sure why you feel another species would be more "neutral". What species do you have in mind? Would you rather show an animal that humans are less likely to feel is emotional, perhaps a reptile or squid. Bear in mind that an article like this is not confined purely to scientific matters unless it is renamed something like Emotion in animals (ethology). There are relevant philosophical issues here that remain unresolved. --Epipelagic (talk) 12:15, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi. Yes, I guess I would like to see an image of a species that most people would perhaps be surprised may experience emotions. Perhaps an image of a rat with a caption about Panksepp's work on the vocalisation commonly called "laughter". To my mind, this is some of the most robust work on emotions in animals, and I think many humans would be surprised that it has been found in this "pest" species.__DrChrissy (talk) 11:08, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Merge of Empathy in chickens[edit]


The proposed merge of Empathy in chickens into this article has been closed with support of the proposed merge. I intend to start merging appropriate material here.DrChrissy (talk) 12:23, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

I have now completed my merge of Empathy in chickens. Of course, other editors may wish to merge more, but otherwise Empathy in chickens should now be deleted.DrChrissy (talk) 14:45, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for merging. Accordingly, I have redirected Empathy in chickens to this article. Certain legal restrictions prevent us from being able to delete the former Empathy in chickens article history right away; the history has all the usernames of the contributors to the merged content, which is required for attribution. Typically, when articles are merged, the source page is redirected to the destination article while preserving the source page's history. This also allows future contributors to merge more things if they ever become relevant. Best, Mz7 (talk) 18:34, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh I see. Thanks very much for the explanation and sorting out the redirect.DrChrissy (talk) 21:26, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Empathy in chickens (rehatched version)[edit]

I believe I went along with the merge that was discussed in August. A couple of days ago I came to this article just take a look on how the merge went...ummm. The whole article is now contained in this one and was whittled down to four sentences. What kind of merge does this?

I would, in all seriousness, like to resubmit a new-updated-heavily referenced article and so this is the place to start the discussion. From what I can tell at this point, I have corrected all the objections made in the merge discussion in my rehatched version. The references barely mention animal cognition and so I believe it will stand on its own. I covet your comments. The Very Best of Regards,

  Bfpage |leave a message  13:49, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
A further comment - Empathy is not an emotion. Best Regards,   Bfpage |leave a message  01:08, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

Do you have a improved version of the article in your sandbox, or were you going to revert to your last edit before the merge/redirect? I remember being pro-delete on this one, which is not my normal response when spending time at afd. Bahb the Illuminated (talk) 01:10, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Yes, indeed I have a new, rehatched, heavily referenced, new article. I thought it was in my sandbox. I will have to find it so you can have a look. Where is everyone else that discussed the deletion? Best Regards,
  Bfpage |leave a message  22:11, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Mentions to Behaviorism[edit]

Mentions to behaviorism are full of misinformation. The first paragraph of the "behaviorist approach" subsection has (unquoted) affirmations that are just plain not true (as well as the use of "stimulus-response" in a manner that is incorrect and outdated - mainly used by behaviorism detractors in the past). The subsection fails to note that a behaviorist view does not refute emotions in animals at all - it simply declines ascribing it a causal role in behavior. This is true for both human and animal behavior. The so called "internal events" (emotions, mind, thought, and so fort) in general receive this treatment. This is because there is a refusal of seeing organisms as divided (like the dichotomy "body and mind", for instance; see monism), and all behavior is effected by the whole individual in interaction with the environment. Thus, the question of whether there is conscience or specific internal events in animals is of no interest to a behaviorist. This does not imply in a denial of it - like language not pertaining physics does not imply physics refuses the existence of language. In fact, since behavior analysis ascribes man no significant difference from other animals, having it's behavior guided by the same rules and principles, and has several studies in the origins of emotions in humans (of note, the experiments of John B. Watson, the so called father of behaviorism), the opposite could be heavily implied - that animals probably do, in some form, experience subjective states, same as humans. A few useful references on the matter: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:58, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

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