Relationship Of Empathy And Perception Of Pain
This study of Norwegian dog owners analyzed the relationship between empathy, attitudes, and perceived animal pain among dog owners/guardians, finding that respondents had very high levels of animal-directed empathy and equally high levels of positive attitudes toward companion animals.
Based on questionnaires completed by 1,896 dog owners covering demographics, the Pet Attitude Scale (PAS), the Animal Empathy Scale (AES), and the Pain Assessment Instrument (PAI), researchers found that Norwegian dog owners had very high levels of animal-directed empathy and equally high levels of positive attitudes toward companion animals.
Researchers identified differences based on gender, childhood companion animal keeping, income, education, =owners’ use of their dog (i.e. whether kept for companionship or hunting), and household size, which is an indication of human social relations. The researchers found a positive correlation between animal-directed empathy and positive attitudes toward companion animals. Empathy was found to be the best predictor of how people rated pain in dogs.