For all of you who refer to your pet as 'Baby'...
If you’re an animal owner, chances are you love your pet more than life itself. Whether you refer to your cat as your ‘baby’ or constantly ask your dog ‘who’s a good boy?’ – we’re an office of animal lovers, so we totally get it. (But don’t get us started on the cat vs dog debate.)
We have some great news if you love to chat to your beloved pet. Not only is your dog even smarter than you think, but talking to an animal isn’t a sign of madness – far from it in fact. Nicholas Epley, professor of behavioural science at the University of Chicago, says that this is totally normal and actually shows a high level of intelligence.
‘Historically, anthropomorphising has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural by-product of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet,’ he told Quartz. ‘[There is] no other species that has that tendency.’
Quartz continues to explain that: ‘we think our cat is acting “sassy”; that the stock market is “angry” or “working to recover;” and we ask our car “why it won’t turn on” and call it a “rickety old man” when it starts to stall.
‘This is just the by-product of having an active, intelligent social cognition—of having a brain that is programmed to see and perceive minds.’
So, next time people look at you strangely when you’re chatting to your dog in the park, remember – they’re probably not as intelligent as you (smug face).