Dogs (Canis familiaris) evaluate humans on the basis of direct experiences only.

Published

Journal Article

Reputation formation is a key component in the social interactions of many animal species. An evaluation of reputation is drawn from two principal sources: direct experience of an individual and indirect experience from observing that individual interacting with a third party. In the current study we investigated whether dogs use direct and/or indirect experience to choose between two human interactants. In the first experiment, subjects had direct interaction either with a "nice" human (who played with, talked to and stroked the dog) or with an "ignoring" experimenter who ignored the dog completely. Results showed that the dogs stayed longer close to the "nice" human. In a second experiment the dogs observed a "nice" or "ignoring" human interacting with another dog. This indirect experience, however, did not lead to a preference between the two humans. These results suggest that the dogs in our study evaluated humans solely on the basis of direct experience.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nitzschner, M; Melis, AP; Kaminski, J; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • January 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 10

Start / End Page

  • e46880 -

PubMed ID

  • 23056507

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23056507

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0046880

Language

  • eng