Most pet owners around the world, have everyday conversations with their pets just like they would talk to human beings. They wish their pets a good morning, ask them if they are hungry and if they want to go out for a walk as if their pets understand and will respond.
Do you talk to your pet the way you talk to your friends? If so, we’re certain that you’ve noticed other people get freaked out by your behaviour. For example: If you have a dog, you're likely in the habit of asking them, "Who's a good boy?" in a really high-pitched and affectionate tone of voice — sometimes to the amusement of those around you. Perhaps you, too, sometimes wonder why you're acting like this. But, what if I reassure you that your habit of speaking to your pet is a sign of intelligence? You aren't just a crazy animal lover, but you’re actually showing signs of smartness. It's called anthropomorphizing, which means the attribution of human traits, feelings or intentions to non-human entities. The ability to perceive non-human things as a human is called anthropomorphism. Usually, when children do it, we find it adorable, but when adults do it, it is frowned upon and seen as something odd. Anthropologist experts claim that perceiving human traits in an animal, a plant or even an object is nothing but a pure sign of intelligence.
According to a study conducted in Harvard, a group of people were shown photos of animals both big and small, to which most of the subjects agreed that they would give them human names. They even agreed to talk to it, like they speak to human beings. No other living creature besides humans has such an ability to identify human behavior in inanimate objects.
Although naming your pets and inanimate objects is the most popular way of anthropomorphizing, it isn't the only one. Giving your pets character traits also falls under anthropomorphism. Calling your dog your “baby” or your cat a “grumpy old man” is not at all you being weird, it is the intelligence talking. The human brain is complicated beyond any explanation. Years of research and scientific studies and we are still not sure of all the amazing things our mind is capable of doing. Trying to find human characteristics in inanimate objects like pets, plants, toys or anything at all is a sign of your brain’s creativity.
Anthropomorphism not only affects humans, but it also affects our pets. A new study out of the University of York has it that dogs respond better to baby talk. Researchers found that like human babies that respond best to parents who speak in a high pitched happy voice, dogs like the sound of it too. Studies have demonstrated that, if you keep talking to your puppy, it learns to differentiate among words and learns your gestures. Dogs have been human companions for years and, therefore, they have evolved accordingly. When you talk to your dog, it can understand your words and your feelings. Cats do not understand your words, as much as dogs do. However, they also can recognize their owner’s voice and commands. Cats, in fact, use more than 16 different ways to communicate. (They do hear you, they merely don’t care).
There is a simple reason why humans will try to anthropomorphize an object - Our brain gets confused when it sees an object and tries to perceive it as human. Put a cute little soft toy in front of you, and you will want to talk to it, or at least name it! No, you aren't a delusional psycho, it is basic science, and as social animals, humans wish to talk to everyone they can and befriend them. It is basic human nature.
So, the next time someone calls you a weirdo because you're talking to a dog or cat on the street, tell them to get their facts straight and send them this article.
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