Many dog lovers find themselves in deep conversations with their furry friends, turns out it’s not weird, it’s a sign of some serious smarts.
The topic of Anthropomorphising – giving humanlike tendencies to inanimate objects and animals – is a polarising issue.
Some feel imposing our personalities on animals is wrong and we should just let them be, others see it as a way to bond with our pets.
Well, behavioural scientist and the world’s foremost anthropomorphism expert Nicholas Epley from the University of Chicago is calling bullshit on the naysayers.
“Historically, anthropomorphising has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet,” he writes in his book Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want as reported by Quartz magazine.
People who speak to their pets have what is called intelligent social cognition, which in layman’s terms is the ability to see and perceive minds.
Even better, we tend to anthropomorphise the things we love not the things we hate.
Why? Because human beings have within them the urge to connect, the need is more fervent when it comes to a loved one, like a pet dog.
“Recognising the mind of another human being involves the same psychological processes as recognising a mind in other animals, a god, or even a gadget. It is a reflection of our brain’s greatest ability rather than a sign of our stupidity,” states Epley.
So don’t worry about seeming weird for telling Fido your problems, you’re just fine.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.