Dogs Hate Love Rivals Too
Dogs are instinctively jealous of their owners being affectionate to rivals, according to a new study carried out by California scientists, which filmed owners stroking cuddly toy dogs and monitoring how the real dogs reacted.
One in four dogs barked at the fake interloper, one in three tried to stand in between them, while four in five pushed or nudged their owner when they petted the stuffed animal, the BBC reported.
Study chief Prof Christine Harris from University of California said their findings prove that jealousy is ‘hard-wired’ into dogs with implications for understanding human emotions of envy and possessiveness.
“Many people have assumed that jealousy is a social construction of human beings – or that it’s an emotion specifically tied to sexual and romantic relationships,” Prof Harris told the BBC.
“Our results challenge these ideas, showing that animals besides ourselves display strong distress whenever a rival usurps a loved one’s affection.” (BBC: http://bbc.in/1nvmG7G )
The study’s findings struck a chord with a study of British national characteristics in 2008 which as well as noting that ‘looking uncomfortable on the dance floor’, ‘getting drunk’, ‘being overly polite’ and ‘talking about the weather’ are common traits, also noted that typical Brits are commonly ‘jealous of wealth and success’. (Daily Telegraph: http://bit.ly/1olpBk3 )
More sinisterly, University of Texas psychology David M Buss, author of The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is as Necessary as Love and Sex, analysed data on jealousy and murder in 2007 and branded the emotion ‘the leading drive behind the killing of “mate poachers” — interlopers who attempt to lure away our partners.’
He also pointed out that vast numbers of people in all societies experience homicidal rages when threatened by love rivals attempting to move in, exacerbated by the reality that there aren’t enough beautiful people for everybody else.
“In a study of 5,000 people in six cultures, 84% of women and 91% of men admitted to having had at least one fantasy of murder,” the Professor told the LA Times, “and the vast majority fantasized about killing sexual rivals, often in painful and gruesome ways.” (LA Times: http://lat.ms/Ux7OtY
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff