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It seems humans are more moved by the suffering of dogs than people, according to a study.
In new research, scientists described a report about an attack 'with a baseball bat by an unknown assailant' and each time the victim changed.
Study - Suffering - Puppies - Children - Dogs
The study found we are moved the most by the suffering of puppies and children, but battered dogs elicited more empathy than abused humans.
Scientists say this may be because animals are more helpless than humans and less able to defend themselves.
Professor - Jack - Levin - Professor - Arnold
Professor Jack Levin and Professor Arnold Arluke, from Northeastern University in Boston examined the opinions of 240 people who received one of four fictional news articles.
'Arriving on the scene a few minutes after the attack, a police officer found the victim with one broken leg, multiple lacerations, and unconscious. No arrests have been made in the case', the police report read.
Example - Victim
In each example the victim changed.
One concerned the beating of a one-year-old child and a second an adult in his 30s.
The other two were about a puppy or a six-year-old dog being abused.
The difference in empathy between child and puppy was 'statistically non-significant', but the dog garnered more feeling than the adult, researchers found.
'Respondents - Adult - Humans
'Respondents were significantly less distressed when adult humans were...
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