Animal Emotions Essay

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Animal Emotions

Do animals feel joy, love, fear, anguish or despair? What ere emotions, and perhaps more importantly, how do scientists prove animals are capable of emotion? Sea lion mothers have often been seen wailing painfully and squealing eerily as they watch their babies being eaten by killer whales. Buffaloes have also been observed sliding playfully across ice, excitedly screaming “Gwaaa.” Emotions are defined broadly as psychological phenomena that help in behavioral management and control. This is a challenging question to researchers who are trying to determine the answer to this question. Through current research by close observation combined with neurobiological research, evidence that animals exhibit fear, joy
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However many skeptics argue that this is not enough evidence to determine whether animals have emotions or if they are just exhibiting primary instincts. Nevertheless many researchers studying animal emotions believe that humans are not the only animals to experience emotion.

In 1988 at the University of Zurich, Eduard Stammbach set up an experiment with long tailed macaque monkeys to determine if they were able to rein aggressive behavior and act cooperatively. Subgroups of monkeys were created, and the lowest ranking monkey was taught to press a set of levers in a specific sequence that caused a machine to deliver popcorn. The high-ranking monkeys noticed the low ranking monkeys’ unique skills. The high-ranking monkeys soon began grabbing all the popcorn. Before long the low ranking monkeys stopped operating the machine. This did not last long because the higher-ranking monkeys began to change their behavior. The higher-ranking monkeys began to approach the lower ranking monkeys more peacefully, and allowed the lower ranking monkeys a share of the popcorn. Furthermore some higher-ranking monkeys began to groom the lower monkeys even when the machine was inoperative.

Another experiment by psychologist Robert Miller and his colleagues was designed to see if a monkey was able to interpret another monkey’s facial expression. The researchers trained rhesus monkeys to pull a lever to avoid getting shocked after a
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