A comparative behavior analysis of emotions in humans and animals

Joe Layng
Presentation given at the 2016 Conference

Debates continue as to whether or not animals experience emotions, and further, if they do, are they experiencing anything at all like humans experience? Some argue that human verbal behavior makes human emotions unique; others argue that the underlying physiology of emotional responding is quite similar, at least across most mammals, and therefore suggest the emotions experienced may be the same. This presentation will draw upon work from both behavioral and neuroscience laboratories, ethology, applied animal training, the psychological clinic, and philosophy to make its comparisons and draw its conclusions. It will provide an account that perhaps can accommodate both perspectives and help us understand the role of emotions and emotional behavior in our and our animals’ lives.

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