Someone recently asked me this and I have no clue: Do animals have emotions? Frankly, animal psychology or psychology in general is not an area of expertise for me. If I had to make a decision, I would say no because I would think they would be too stupid. Once again, I don’t know. Does anyone have any information on this or know a website I could check out? I would prefer a scientific view over a pet-loving nut’s.

I believe they do, as emotions are moreso linked to hormones than to brains. I mean, if an animal is hit by someone, don’t you think that animal will start hating the person?

yes they do, i dont have any sientific proof to back it up but i can tell from my dog. when every their loud thunder he hides under my desk, or when my dads work truck pulls up at the house. also when ever i get home he starts jumping around and he his all happy. cats on the other hand have bearly any emotains, you could live with them for 14 years and they could forget you in 3 days. pluse they dont get scared or happy the way dogs do.

I think so. When you have a dog or other similar animal it’s easy to see they do.

It would obviously depend on the animal. Not all animals are, as you bluntly put it, “stupid”. Wanting to survive, without a range of human emotions, isn’t “stupid”. It’s called instinct.

Obviously some animals can be taught to love and to hate. Just because those aren’t normal emotions for animals doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of doing so. It’s silly to compare animal intelligence to human intelligence because they can’t compare.

Yes, animals have emotions. But, the dummer the animal the more basic the emotions are.

A very nicely written article on the subject.

Anyone who has ever had a cat can confirm that without a doubt. >_>

it’s debatable. I don’t believe there is much scientific evidence to back it up, but then again if you took science to an extreme people don’t have emotions, either.

Animals have no souls, and therefore have no emotions.

From my experience with animals, I would say that they very well may have emotions.
While doing research for a paper for a theology class, I came across a bit that defined emotions as mental reactions that generated a temporary physiological change (or something along that line); so from that point of view, I believe animals can have emotions.

I would say that animals do have emotions. Hell, my cat (yes a cat) gets all depressed when I leave for a couple of days and just cries. He also cuddles up next to me when I’m sitting. Anotehr cat in my house is pretty smart and shows intelligence and emotions. He gets jealous of other animals if they are getting attentionb and not him, plus, he has learned how many thigns operate by watching us use them (such as openning doors). Animals aren’t stupid senseless creatures. Also, as has been said, dogs show emotion such as love and hate and even fear. I’m not around many other animals so I can’t give any examples or say much about them, but I’m sure that they do too. Besides, you can’t jsut judge it based off of expressions. Animals and humans are different and our ways of doing things are different.

I would say yes.

And since animals have emotions, I would say that they have souls as well. But can we avoid that one? Last time we had that discussion it was too long and too irritating.

Not all of them. Ever seen a depressive cockroach? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d say you have to difference between self- aware, thinking animals (cats, dogs, horses, whatever; it’s clear that those have feelings) and animals which act purely on instincts, like insects.

Have you ever taken the time to look at a cockroach’s face? Didnt think so. I think animals have emotions. Just because we cant always understand what they mean doesnt mean they dont have them.

Is getting in the garbage and spreading it all over the house, then shitting all over the house an emotion? if so, then animals totally have emotions.

I’ve actually read a little on this subject, and the real debate isnt whether or not animals can experience emotion (they can) it’s about the depth/range of emotions, and wheter or not they come from domestication/human interaction. Cats and dogs are a far cry from being the animals they originally were bred from. They are domesticated, and as such have taken on a number of human characteristics, including emotion. The real question is, do they feel all the same emotione we do? or as strongly?

Does a cat truly love? or is it more mild, a kind of comfort they get from an individual. its very hard to measure/define love among humans, let alone among simpler creatures. I have a pet lizard, a bearded dragon. Theyre social, unlike most reptiles. He seems to be comfortable around me, but not others. Do I believe its love? I doubt it feels anything more than the (instinctual to group animals) the comfort of not being alone.

Would a wild wolf, out hunting, be feeling any emotions? I am not sure it feels anything more than hunger, and the need to survive. If a pack member dies, wolves dont mourn, they simply go on, even if they’ve hunted together for years.

And while fear is technically an emotion, telling the difference between truly feeling fear, or simply the flee survival instinct are not the same, but I sire couldn’t look and see the difference.

so, I’d have to say, the only animals capable of real emotions, are those domesticated by humans, and in the ambiance of human emotion enough to be affected by it. though a certain degree of , not exactly ntelligence, but a more complex brain that would temd to accompany intelligence, is probably necessary as well.

I would say that any animal that cares for their young has emotion. “Care” is a physical manifestation of an emotion. Whether it’s kindness or love is debatable. Even wolves will express some kind of positive emotion when rearing their offspring.

In Dark Knight’s example of a pack member dying, the other members will not mourn because the death will mean a change in the pecking order. Wolves lower in the order hav a chance to move up, and those at the top have to look out for younger, stronger members usurping their position.

I don’t think thats really emotion, thats reacting on instincts. protecting young isn’t an emotion, its an instinct designed to enable our species to continue. And since many creatures tyhat care for their young, will kill them on sight when that young becomes large enough to be competition, I doubt there is any actually caring there.

Protecting young isn’t an emotion, but what about raising them? That requires some emotion. Otherwise every animal would leave their young immediatly after giving birth.

Yes listen to Lex, Mrs Dolphins-are-Mammals