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Do animals feel guilt?

animals guilt

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:44 PM

When your dog looks at you with those big sad eyes, is he guilty or is he just aware that you're angry with him? And can animals, on their own, develop a sense of guilt for what they do to other animals? We take a look at a few experiments that examine these questions.


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#2    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:54 PM

Oh yes they do ,and they remember stuff they've done,or had done to them,years later . Cats are like Italian mothers with the guilt .

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#3    Grey14


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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:45 PM

By the look on my dogs face after she's pooped on the carpet I would have to say yes.

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#4    None of the above

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:30 PM

Homo Sapien didn't 'spontainiously' evolve emotions. We share the full spectrum of emotions with many animals.

#5    Bling


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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:30 PM

I'm sure my cat felt guilt when she puked in the floor yesterday....that, and a little bit of embarrassment!

#6    Catz


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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:39 PM

Pets are just like children.  They know what they are not suppose to do, but still do it. As soon as I arrive home, I can immediately tell whether my dog has been up to something from the way he behaves.  He's normally all happy, tail wagging, jumping up and down.  If he's done something wrong and I ask him what he's done, his ears and tail will go down and he will look at me with such sad eyes. (almost manipulating me with those beautiful brown eyes - I mean, how can I stay angry) and then I will find yet another plant destroyed....but you've go to love them!


#7    Coffey


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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:40 PM

One of the most amazing videos I have ever seen in my life:

After watching this you can't say animals don't have emotions or empathy.

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#8    Beany


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Posted 16 October 2012 - 03:40 AM

You should see our dog after she's been caught eating the cat food. She oozes guilt, ears go back flat against her skull, her head drops, she appears to lose about 25 per cent of her body, and she slinks away. And yet, we all know she'll go for it every chance she gets.

#9    Michelle


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Posted 16 October 2012 - 03:59 AM

Anyone that has a real connection with animals know they do feel guilt.

#10    Anonymous User

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:25 AM

This dog certainly does.


#11    Paracelse


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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:58 AM

Dogs and cats owned mem and some of them did feel guil, others didn't,  Luna the current owner doesn't feel any guilt about anything, she just does what she wants and expect rewards even for the worst deeds.

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#12    ouija ouija

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 06:38 PM

View PostCoffey, on 15 October 2012 - 10:40 PM, said:

One of the most amazing videos I have ever seen in my life:
After watching this you can't say animals don't have emotions or empathy.

Hmm, I dunno. Try watching it with the sound off and see if you feel the same. Voiceover & music both designed to manipulate emotions ........ hard to be sure what was really going on there.

I don't think animals experience guilt(although it's impossible to know for sure, of course). What some of them do exhibit is awareness of which behaviours will produce an unpleasant reaction from the leader of their pack/'owner'. I don't think they are aware of doing something 'bad'/'wrong' i.e. pooping on the carpet, but, having pooped, some will then remember that they were shouted at or hit the last time they did that and will fear the same response. What you see when you enter the room with the poop in it is an animal trying to communicate to you that it doesn't want to be told off ...... this is not guilt IMO. Another situation is when a pet poops somewhere it 'shouldn't' because for some reason it has been unable to get outside/to the cat tray. The animal then exhibits distress at soiling it's territory, something that most animals avoid. Again, this is not guilt.

#13    questionmark


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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:18 PM

I can only go by the critters I know, and they sure know when they did something wrong. Having done something wrong, by definition is guilt, so yes my critters feel guilty (for about 2 minutes, then they pretend they forgot).

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#14    Ashotep


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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:00 PM

I think they do, I think they know when they are doing something you won't like but they do it anyway just like some people.

#15    ouija ouija

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:19 PM

View PostHilander, on 16 October 2012 - 11:00 PM, said:

I think they do, I think they know when they are doing something you won't like but they do it anyway just like some people.

I think you have to be a bit careful with that line of thought ....... it could give an 'owner' justifiction for punishing an animal that doesn't derserve it.

Also tagged with animals, guilt

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