Researchers at Yale University Get Inside the Minds of Dogs
Researchers at Yale University’s Canine Cognition Center are currently working on a study to find out what dogs are thinking. According to Today, psychologist Laurie Santos is the head of the center and said that her team is learning whether or not dogs are moral.
To complete the study, researchers are acting out puppet shows for the canines to come to their conclusion of dog morality. One scene features a puppet rat helping a puppet hedgehog up a hill. There is another scene that features the puppet rat pushing the puppet hedgehog down. Following the two scenes, the dogs watching are encouraged to pick out the mean or nice rat.
Santos explained that the same study has been done with human infants in which the children are encouraged to choose between the mean and nice puppet. Results of that study reportedly concluded that the children preferred to interact with the nicer puppet.
“Really the purpose of the center is to figure out what’s going on inside dogs’ heads,” Santos told the source. “They are guys that live with us. They grow up with us. We share our homes and our families with them and yet scientifically, we don’t know that much about how dogs think.”
In addition to this study at the Canine Cognition Center, researchers are also trying to learn more about how dogs perceive their environment, make decisions and solve problems.