How do we really know that animals express and feel emotions?


How do we really know that animals express and feel emotions?

In: Biology

Try scratching a cats belly. You’ll uncover their irritability anger. Conversely scratch behind their ears and you mostly get happy purrs.

from the way they interact and react to their enviroment. By looking at how an animal reacts to its surroundings over time you are able to deduce what emotions arise.

If you mean literally how do humans detect emotions in different species: humans are hard wired to be extremely sensitive to changes in mood and expression due to how we evolved. we are sensitive enough that we can detect these changes in other creatures once familiar with their habits.

if you looked up a random photo of a person on google right now you would be able to look at them amd have a basic idea of their feelings at that moment. as a cat person i can tell you i could probably do the same with a cat picture.

We don’t really know. Just like how none of us really know if humans do those things. But what we do know is that animals seem to physically respond to emotional situations in ways similar to us, and that they only act that way in situations that would cause those emotions.

If you’re looking for hard evidence: brain parts. Animals have regions of their brains dedicated to processing emotion, and in some these regions are bigger than ours relative to brain mass. A great example of this is orcas or killer whales. It’s theorised that they’re more emotional than humans.

How do we know? Common sense.

I know that my dog and I experience sadness the same way because we both express it the same way, we can detect it in each other, and we both take corrective action to cheer each other up and care for each other when the other is sad.

In other words, if a dog acts consistently with my behavior of sadness, then sadness is an accurate description of the dogs behavior. From there we infer the internal experience of sadness.

This question relates to existential doubt: you can’t quantify another being’s internal experience. That doesn’t throw out all of psychology on a technicality. I could just as easily say that science can never prove anything, only disprove things. So that means you can never truly know gravity exists. yet, it’s clearly a real phenomenon consistent with my experience.