A new study indicated that toddlers and dogs might have similar social intelligence. A new research developed by scientists at the University of Arizona suggested that two-year-old kids and dogs share some characteristics when it comes to communication and social skills. Evan MacLean, the director of the Arizona Canine Cognition Center at the University of Arizona, developed a new study with his team and they revealed that infants and dogs prove to have similar patterns in social intelligence.
- A research developed by scientists at the University of Arizona shed some light upon social intelligence.
- They revealed that dogs, rather than chimpanzees, have similar social intelligence to two-year-olds.
- Scientists developed several test to test kids, chimpanzees and dogs and observe communication skills.
What is more, the study indicated that the social intelligence of dogs appears to be more developed than the one of the chimps, which are known to be our closest relatives. The new research examined chimpanzees, dogs, and two-year-olds. They have all performed some tests which were bound to indicate the cognition functions. Chimpanzees appeared to proceed very well, making use of spatial reasoning and physical environment.
Nevertheless, they did not prove to perform so well on tests which looked at the cooperative communication skills, and they were not able to engage in simple tasks like following the finger of a point. However, toddlers and dogs obtained similar results on these social intelligence tests. Some previous studies indicated that humans usually start to develop their social communication skills when they reach the age of nine months.
MacLean noted that there are numerous previous researches which suggest that people and chimpanzees do not have the same social skills, which, strangely, are found in dogs. He together with his team was bound to examine whether there is only a superficial similarity between the infants and dogs or there might be a different type of social intelligence which might be visible in both species. As a result, they revealed that there exists a pattern which indicated that if dogs are good at performing a single social thing, then they may also be able to perform related social things, just like kids do.
The formulated hypothesis of the new study underlined the idea that humans and dogs are likely to have developed under similar pressures which may have favored the most friendly one, obtaining rewards and benefits for more cooperative social behavior. This study could also help specialists better understand the behavior of people with disabilities which more often than not determine a gap in the development of social communication, like autism.
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