Social cognition: Across age and species

Social cognition: Across age and species

Dr Yong Min Hooi, Sunway University, Malaysia

I will first describe a brief overview on social cognition and what it means to view them from a human and non-human viewpoints, specifically on domestic dogs. In this talk, I will present data from two studies comparing both dogs and humans using the sad “distress” emotion e.g. crying and sad faces. When a human hears an infant crying, s/he often responds with an increase in cortisol level and heightened attention, a response typically described as empathy. One open question is to what extent the observer feels distressed when another is in distress. The findings for salivary cortisol and behaviour converge to suggest that dogs experience a form of empathy – emotional contagion – in response to human infant crying. This response is indicative that sadness aversion has similar roots for both species and indicative of an empathic response – emotional contagion.

This seminar is aimed at the psychology departments staff and students. If you would like to attend please contact Ms Carolyn Porter on 01224 272227 to check availability.

Dr Yong Min Hooi

Carolyn Porter 01224 272227