People, dogs, and pigs fell into the water. Who would you save? (Research)

A dog and a man fell out while riding the boat. Who will you save?

As an adult, it goes without saying that they will choose people. But what if you ask an 8-year-old child? You can also choose a dog.

According to a recent joint study by Yale University, Harvard University and Oxford University, published in the international journal Psychological Science, most children actually tend to make this choice.

First of all, the research team asked adults whether they would save one person or 100 dogs. As a result, 61% of respondents said they would save one person. Also, for one person and one dog, 85% chose a person, and for one person and one pig, 93% chose a person.

The team then asked the same question on 249 children between the ages of 5 and 9. As a result, 70% of children said they would choose 100 dogs over one person. Also, for one person and one dog, only one in three people chose a person, 28% chose a dog, and the others did not. Pigs are not perceived as universal companion animals like dogs, so children chose humans for one person and 57% for one pig.

The research team also asked about the intelligence and ability of people, dogs, and pigs to feel pain, sadness, and fear. As a result, both adults and children evaluated that humans are the most intelligent and the ability to feel emotions is also the best. Next was dogs and pigs.

This means that children also do not see dogs and pigs as having the same intelligence or emotions as adults. Nevertheless, at the moment of saving lives, they made a choice not to give people a greater advantage over dogs or pigs.

Why did this result appear? The research team thought that the moment when humans were considered a special species and’species discrimination’ that the moral status was higher than that of other animals would be after the high grade of elementary school. It is an interpretation that from this time, we learn and internalize biased concepts about humans and animals.

Reporter Moon Se-young [email protected]

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