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do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

  • no, (I'm an older person 60+)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • no, (i'm somewhere in the middle 30-60)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    61

Aurora151989

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This poll/question considers birds and mammals. I'm pretty sure reptiles, amphibians and fish have emotions, but not in a way we would understand.

Also want to test a theory I have, feel free to discuss dare I say... debate,

or tell if your view has changed over the years.
 

Aurora151989

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oh yes! I have 3 cats right now :D Sammy who is 19 and a half years old, Peaches, she's 11 and Violet who's 3 years old.

Violet is the "play with me" kitty, Peaches is the "pet and brush me" kitty, and Sam is ancient. Violet is the one that makes it very clear what she might feel, or what she wants to say.

The funny thing is... she can't vocalize! The most she can do is grunt, which she does to say put me down, or cut it out. She usually just looks at the person and opens her mouth though.
 
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Of course they do! Why else would cats be so evil, if not for the lulz?
 

Kali

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Yes. I think dolphins are some of the most intelligent creatures on the face of the Earth or in the Sea:)
 

Kandahar

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Yes, they clearly have emotions and feelings. If you're asking if they are "conscious" or "self-aware"...I think it depends on the animal. There is a spectrum of consciousness IMO, and I think most large mammals have some degree of it.
 

spud_meister

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most mammals do, from what i've seen, the smarter types of birds, like parrots, ravens and crows do, however, none of my pet fish or lizards have ever shown emotion.
 
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CaptainCourtesy

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All animals of the type that you mention feel fear... which is an emotion. Therefore, the answer is "yes".
 

spud_meister

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All animals of the type that you mention feel fear... which is an emotion. Therefore, the answer is "yes".
do they feel fear as we do, as a kind of 'oh ****' sorta thing, or is it just an instinctive, 'i can't win this, i'll run away'?
 

CaptainCourtesy

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do they feel fear as we do, as a kind of 'oh ****' sorta thing, or is it just an instinctive, 'i can't win this, i'll run away'?
My guess is, the latter.
 

spud_meister

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My guess is, the latter.
so would that be emotion, or just an instinctual fight or flight mechanism?

although dogs and cats show human-like fear, 'cause dogs are often scared of thunder and fireworks, cats are scared of me when i throw rocks at them when they're trying to break into my budgies cage, which is when i think birds show a form of fear, 'cause when the cats are harassing her, my budgie will go to the furthest corner of her cage and screech at them, so she is obviously scared, but when i had pet lizards, they didn't scare at all, they would try and pick a fight with the lawnmower (lucky i saw them before i ran them over).

and the point if my off tangent rant, is anecdotal evidence of my first post:mrgreen:
 

hiswoman

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Unquestionably, yes. I've always believed so.


 

Apocalypse

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Partially, yes of course.
 

Goshin

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This poll/question considers birds and mammals. I'm pretty sure reptiles, amphibians and fish have emotions, but not in a way we would understand.

Also want to test a theory I have, feel free to discuss dare I say... debate,

or tell if your view has changed over the years.

Those who work with animals and train them, professional trainers, tend to speak in terms of drives, rather than emotions.

Drives in this context refers to instictive or learned behaviors exhibited in the presence of certain stimuli.

Dogs are the animal with which I'm most familiar in this sense, having had training by a professional in dealing with dogs.

Dogs primary drives include predation, territorial defense, submission, and fear. They can relate to humans in all these drives, usually viewing humans as alphas, or sometimes as equals; sometimes as threats, and sometimes as prey animals.

I've seen all these drives modeled by real dogs, both in training classes and in "the field".

The funny thing is a dog can switch drives like flipping a lightswitch. Seriously, they can be in predation mode, ripping the crap out of a trainer's protective sleeve... then two seconds later the same trainer can be petting them on the head, once the context that made them "go predator" is removed.

I won't say that dogs don't have feelings of some kind, because I believe they do; but I think their feelings operate very differently from humans.

How many humans can turn their emotions on and off like that? Switch from "KILL!!!!" to "oh you want to scratch my ears? Joy joy joy..." in two seconds? Well, the human equivalents of those feelings I mean. :mrgreen:

Human emotions tend to be more persistent. We have long-lasting emotional reactions to things that engender strong feelings, even long after the stimulus is removed. For the most part, dogs don't seem to.

I won't say that animals don't have feelings and emotions of some kind, based on instinctive drives and some degree of learned behavior, but I don't think there is any close correlation to human emotions. Human emotions, like human thoughts, can have incredible depths and nuances; animal feelings/drives tend to be fairly simple and directly correlate to their basic drives: food, survival, reproduction, pack status, etc.

My two bits..

G.
 

Aurora151989

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very interesting Goshin, well explained too :D

The dog has been trained to act a certain way towards a certain command. Like say human actors act out all kinds of emotion, and can be quite believable.
 

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My dog expressed some ennui just yesterday.
 

dirtpoorchris

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Animals have the same feelings we have for sure. Except they mostly communicate with body language only. When I have gone too long without petting the dog you can see her eyes change. See the sadness within and she will mope around waiting for me to pet her. When I pull her up and cuddle her she even lets out a sigh of relief.
 

dirtpoorchris

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How many humans can turn their emotions on and off like that? Switch from "KILL!!!!" to "oh you want to scratch my ears? Joy joy joy..." in two seconds? :mrgreen:
At least 10 times a day.
 

jujuman13

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Those who work with animals and train them, professional trainers, tend to speak in terms of drives, rather than emotions.

Drives in this context refers to instictive or learned behaviors exhibited in the presence of certain stimuli.)End Quote

As for instance observed behaviour in Rats/Apes/Monkeys/Octopus' etc in controlled Laboratory conditions.?

Quote(Dogs are the animal with which I'm most familiar in this sense, having had training by a professional in dealing with dogs.

Dogs primary drives include predation, territorial defense, submission, and fear. They can relate to humans in all these drives, usually viewing humans as alphas, or sometimes as equals; sometimes as threats, and sometimes as prey animals.

I've seen all these drives modeled by real dogs, both in training classes and in "the field".

The funny thing is a dog can switch drives like flipping a lightswitch. Seriously, they can be in predation mode, ripping the crap out of a trainer's protective sleeve... then two seconds later the same trainer can be petting them on the head, once the context that made them "go predator" is removed.

I won't say that dogs don't have feelings of some kind, because I believe they do; but I think their feelings operate very differently from humans.)End quote

As (in your proposal) you recognize that Dogs are different animals than humans, would it not be reasonable to suggest that their emotions are also different?

Quote(How many humans can turn their emotions on and off like that? Switch from "KILL!!!!" to "oh you want to scratch my ears? Joy joy joy..." in two seconds? Well, the human equivalents of those feelings I mean. :mrgreen:

Human emotions tend to be more persistent. We have long-lasting emotional reactions to things that engender strong feelings, even long after the stimulus is removed. For the most part, dogs don't seem to.

I won't say that animals don't have feelings and emotions of some kind, based on instinctive drives and some degree of learned behavior, but I don't think there is any close correlation to human emotions. Human emotions, like human thoughts, can have incredible depths and nuances; animal feelings/drives tend to be fairly simple and directly correlate to their basic drives: food, survival, reproduction, pack status, etc.) End quote

When you are able to observe the depths and nuances of any animals emotional state then an informed statement or statements can be made, until that time all Humankind can do with regards to the emotional state of the other creatures that also co-dwell on this planet is offer unprovable suppositions.

Humanity always likes to view itself as the 'Superior' creature in a variety of ways!
 
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Southern Man

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My cats and dogs have always reacted to me in emotional ways, and me to them. My observation on this has not changed.
 

Black Dog

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This poll is wrong. Some animals have emotions, some don't. It depends on the animal you are talking about. It's not like a crayfish or crocodile has any feelings/emotions while a parrot or dog does.

The adult alligator has a brain roughly the size of a marble. This is a creature that can be up to 12 feet long, sometimes bigger. They operate on instinct alone, period. Most Reptiles and amphibians are roughly the same. They just don't scientifically have the brain power to support an emotional response system and it is not needed.
 
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Aurora151989

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not sure if you read my initial post, the poll addresses birds and mammals.
 

Black Dog

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not sure if you read my initial post, the poll addresses birds and mammals.
I just read the poll question, not your post.

yes, (i'm somewhere in the middle 30-60)

I have a parrot and she definitely has emotions. Enough to drive me crazy at times.
 

FilmFestGuy

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Those who work with animals and train them, professional trainers, tend to speak in terms of drives, rather than emotions.

Drives in this context refers to instictive or learned behaviors exhibited in the presence of certain stimuli.

Dogs are the animal with which I'm most familiar in this sense, having had training by a professional in dealing with dogs.

Dogs primary drives include predation, territorial defense, submission, and fear. They can relate to humans in all these drives, usually viewing humans as alphas, or sometimes as equals; sometimes as threats, and sometimes as prey animals.

I've seen all these drives modeled by real dogs, both in training classes and in "the field".

The funny thing is a dog can switch drives like flipping a lightswitch. Seriously, they can be in predation mode, ripping the crap out of a trainer's protective sleeve... then two seconds later the same trainer can be petting them on the head, once the context that made them "go predator" is removed.

I won't say that dogs don't have feelings of some kind, because I believe they do; but I think their feelings operate very differently from humans.

How many humans can turn their emotions on and off like that? Switch from "KILL!!!!" to "oh you want to scratch my ears? Joy joy joy..." in two seconds? Well, the human equivalents of those feelings I mean. :mrgreen:

Human emotions tend to be more persistent. We have long-lasting emotional reactions to things that engender strong feelings, even long after the stimulus is removed. For the most part, dogs don't seem to.

I won't say that animals don't have feelings and emotions of some kind, based on instinctive drives and some degree of learned behavior, but I don't think there is any close correlation to human emotions. Human emotions, like human thoughts, can have incredible depths and nuances; animal feelings/drives tend to be fairly simple and directly correlate to their basic drives: food, survival, reproduction, pack status, etc.

My two bits..

G.
I think you're right, but don't quite go far enough - we know now that elephants (and possibly dolphins) express complex emotions such as grief and joy. Dolphins in captivity are known to commit suicide (according to some - but it's hard to refute since, unlike us, breathing is a conscious thing and they can choose not to breathe).
NATURE . Unforgettable Elephants . Elephant Emotions | PBS
 

Goshin

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When you are able to observe the depths and nuances of any animals emotional state then an informed statement or statements can be made, until that time all Humankind can do with regards to the emotional state of the other creatures that also co-dwell on this planet is offer unprovable suppositions.

Humanity always likes to view itself as the 'Superior' creature in a variety of ways!

We are a superior creature, or at least a far more complex creature.

We observe animal behavior and theorize about their motives, yes... because they can't communicate with us in a manner that conveys the depths and nuance of their feelings... if there are such depths and nuances. There is no evidence to believe there are.

We actually go further than that though. We dissect their brains and compare their neural tissue and structures to our neural tissue and structures, observing a HUGE difference in complexity.

We scan their brains with various equipment while watching them react to stimuli, and see how their brains actually work. We can then compare that to similar studies on humans and contrast the level of complexity and depth of response.

I like animals, but they aren't people. I don't deny that they have feelings, but to pretend that they have a depth and complexity of emotional life comparable to humans is contrary to all available evidence.

I like my pets. I like to think that my dogs and cats have some affection for me; but I realize that the behaviors I like to label "affection" are directly related to their response to me as a substitute-parental figure or alpha packmate. They probably mentally label me as something like "Alpha Male who feeds me and scratches behind my ears." :mrgreen:

I'm not speaking about cetaceans and apes, necessarily. I don't have a solid opinion on them yet. Their behaviors and apparent emotions are an order of magnitude more complex, yet I still think the jury is out on whether they actually approach human-level complexity close enough to be considered sapient.
 
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