Mar 20, 2022

Assume that animals have feelings too, say cognitive biologists

Posted by in category: neuroscience

We should assume that animals can have feelings too. From an ethical point of view this should inform our dealings with animals, researchers from Leiden University and Utrecht University argue in an opinion article that was published in the scientific journal Affective Science on Thursday 10 March.

Some of the leading behavioral scientists in the world have hypothesized that many can have emotions. But whether also have feelings is the subject of much debate, and some behavioral scientists believe they do not. This is incorrect, say cognitive psychologist Mariska Kret (Leiden University) and behavioral biologists Jorg Massen (Utrecht University) and Frans de Waal (Emory University and endowed professor in Utrecht). Based on observations, there is a good chance that animals can also have feelings; it is just very difficult to investigate this.

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