Do dogs show an optimistic or pessimistic attitude to life?: A review of studies using the 'cognitive bias' paradigm to assess dog welfare

Burman, Oliver (2014) Do dogs show an optimistic or pessimistic attitude to life?: A review of studies using the 'cognitive bias' paradigm to assess dog welfare. In: The social dog: behavior and cognition. Elsevier Inc., pp. 347-372. ISBN 9780124078185

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Abstract

The capacity for animals to experience affective states such as fear or pleasure is central to the study of animal welfare, and cognitive measures of affect, and thus welfare, are increasingly popular. The 'cognitive bias' paradigm is based on findings that affective state can influence cognitive processes in humans. For example, people in negative affective states judge ambiguous stimuli negatively (are relatively 'pessimistic') compared to happier individuals. Cognitive bias therefore represents an opportunity to assess affective state. Since its first translation to non-human animals, the cognitive bias paradigm has been used in a range of species, including dogs. This chapter reviews the methodological differences and similarities between the various dog studies, using these to identify potential limitations and areas for future research, before reflecting on the utility and efficacy of the cognitive bias paradigm as a way to assess different aspects of dog welfare. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords:Animal welfare, Canine, Dog
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:14779
Deposited On:02 Sep 2014 08:58

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