The degrees of social intelligence of a dog and a 2-year-old child would be comparable, according to a study whose results were published in 2017.
Social intelligence encompasses an individual’s ability to understand others and their social interactions . This is what a team of researchers at the University of Arizona , located in Tucson , became interested in a study involving humans and dogs . The conclusions of this work were published in April 2017 in the journal Animal Behavior .
Evan MacLean , director of the Center for Canine Cognition at the University of Arizona , and the other co-authors of this study analyzed the social cognition faculties of 552 dogs and 105 2-year-old children . They put them all through game-based testing .
This research has shown that the levels displayed by dogs and human babies are similar in this area of social intelligence. They also revealed that their abilities were superior to those of the chimpanzee , the animal species closest to man , in activities centered on cooperative communication . This means, for example, following what another person is pointing or staring at.
Among the theses mentioned by Professor MacLean and his colleagues to explain this similarity: the proximity of the dog and its domestication by humans. The researchers believe, in fact, that this is due to the fact that the 2 species have coexisted for a long enough time to develop similar evolutionary processes .
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