Dogs can find lying

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According to a new study, dogs can sometimes tell when people are lying to them.

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Thursday, 12th August 2021

According to a new study, canines can sometimes tell when people are lying to them.

This suggests that mechanisms that emphasise sensitivity to other people's beliefs are not limited to the primate lineage.

Researchers from the University of Vienna, among others, examined 260 dogs of various breeds for the study. The dogs were taught to choose one of two bowls containing a hidden treat based on the advice of an unknown person.


Also Read: A study suggests that pets can catch Covid from their owners.


Initially, the dogs received the treat when they followed the person's advice. The scientists then changed things up by adding another human to one of the experiment models.

While the dog and the first human looked on, the second human moved the treat from one bowl to another.

In some cases, the second human was absent during the switch-up but returned to advise the dogs on which bowl to approach. The researchers then determined whether the dogs' behaviour had changed.

According to the findings published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, half of the dogs in the study ignored the human's advice when they saw them pointing to the wrong bowl, indicating they knew when they were being lied to.

When the second human was not present when the bowls were switched, the dogs simply ignored the incorrect advice that was given to them.

When the same experiments were done with humans under the age of five, macaques, and chimps in the past, scientists found that children and other animals were more likely than dogs to follow the liar's advice.

“In conclusion, our study provides the first experimental evidence that dogs distinguish between a true and false belief condition in a change-of-location task,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

Scientists believe that, in the absence of training, pet dogs may attribute to humans not only the various types of information they seek, but also their intentions and beliefs.

Researchers, on the other hand, call for more research with better controls to document the mental accounts of the situation from the perspective of the human communicator as well. This will allow for a better understanding of the dogs' likely decision-making process.

Future research may also shed light on the evolutionary origins of dogs' ability to distinguish between truth and lies, according to scientists.



The News Talkie Bureau



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