An investigation on social representations: Inanimate agent can mislead dogs (Canis familiaris) in a food choice task

Judit Abdai, Anna Gergely, Eszter Petró, J. Topál, A. Miklósi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The nature of mental representation of others plays a crucial role in social interactions. Dogs present an ideal model species for the investigation of such mental representations because they develop social ties with both conspecifics and heterospecifics. Former studies found that dogs' preference for larger food quantity could be reversed by humans who indicate the smaller quantity. The question is whether this social bias is restricted to human partners. We suggest that after a short positive social experience, an unfamiliar moving inanimate agent (UMO) can also change dogs' choice between two food quantities. We tested four groups of dogs with different partners: In the (1) Helper UMO and (2) Helper UMO Control groups the partner was an interactive remote control car that helped the dog to obtain an otherwise unreachable food. In the (3) Non-helper UMO and (4) Human partner groups dogs had restricted interaction with the remote control car and the unfamiliar human partners. In the Human partner, Helper UMO and Helper UMO Control groups the partners were able to revert dogs' choice for the small amount by indicating the small one, but the Non-helper UMO was not. We suggest that dogs are able to generalize their wide range of experiences with humans to another type of agent as well, based on the recognition of similarities in simple behavioural patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0134575
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 4 2015

Fingerprint

food choices
Dogs
Remote control
Food
dogs
Railroad cars
Food Preferences
Control Groups
Interpersonal Relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

An investigation on social representations : Inanimate agent can mislead dogs (Canis familiaris) in a food choice task. / Abdai, Judit; Gergely, Anna; Petró, Eszter; Topál, J.; Miklósi, A.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 10, No. 8, e0134575, 04.08.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{853ed84d268d49bf93cc9b4c09c312a5,
title = "An investigation on social representations: Inanimate agent can mislead dogs (Canis familiaris) in a food choice task",
abstract = "The nature of mental representation of others plays a crucial role in social interactions. Dogs present an ideal model species for the investigation of such mental representations because they develop social ties with both conspecifics and heterospecifics. Former studies found that dogs' preference for larger food quantity could be reversed by humans who indicate the smaller quantity. The question is whether this social bias is restricted to human partners. We suggest that after a short positive social experience, an unfamiliar moving inanimate agent (UMO) can also change dogs' choice between two food quantities. We tested four groups of dogs with different partners: In the (1) Helper UMO and (2) Helper UMO Control groups the partner was an interactive remote control car that helped the dog to obtain an otherwise unreachable food. In the (3) Non-helper UMO and (4) Human partner groups dogs had restricted interaction with the remote control car and the unfamiliar human partners. In the Human partner, Helper UMO and Helper UMO Control groups the partners were able to revert dogs' choice for the small amount by indicating the small one, but the Non-helper UMO was not. We suggest that dogs are able to generalize their wide range of experiences with humans to another type of agent as well, based on the recognition of similarities in simple behavioural patterns.",
author = "Judit Abdai and Anna Gergely and Eszter Petr{\'o} and J. Top{\'a}l and A. Mikl{\'o}si",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
day = "4",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0134575",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An investigation on social representations

T2 - Inanimate agent can mislead dogs (Canis familiaris) in a food choice task

AU - Abdai, Judit

AU - Gergely, Anna

AU - Petró, Eszter

AU - Topál, J.

AU - Miklósi, A.

PY - 2015/8/4

Y1 - 2015/8/4

N2 - The nature of mental representation of others plays a crucial role in social interactions. Dogs present an ideal model species for the investigation of such mental representations because they develop social ties with both conspecifics and heterospecifics. Former studies found that dogs' preference for larger food quantity could be reversed by humans who indicate the smaller quantity. The question is whether this social bias is restricted to human partners. We suggest that after a short positive social experience, an unfamiliar moving inanimate agent (UMO) can also change dogs' choice between two food quantities. We tested four groups of dogs with different partners: In the (1) Helper UMO and (2) Helper UMO Control groups the partner was an interactive remote control car that helped the dog to obtain an otherwise unreachable food. In the (3) Non-helper UMO and (4) Human partner groups dogs had restricted interaction with the remote control car and the unfamiliar human partners. In the Human partner, Helper UMO and Helper UMO Control groups the partners were able to revert dogs' choice for the small amount by indicating the small one, but the Non-helper UMO was not. We suggest that dogs are able to generalize their wide range of experiences with humans to another type of agent as well, based on the recognition of similarities in simple behavioural patterns.

AB - The nature of mental representation of others plays a crucial role in social interactions. Dogs present an ideal model species for the investigation of such mental representations because they develop social ties with both conspecifics and heterospecifics. Former studies found that dogs' preference for larger food quantity could be reversed by humans who indicate the smaller quantity. The question is whether this social bias is restricted to human partners. We suggest that after a short positive social experience, an unfamiliar moving inanimate agent (UMO) can also change dogs' choice between two food quantities. We tested four groups of dogs with different partners: In the (1) Helper UMO and (2) Helper UMO Control groups the partner was an interactive remote control car that helped the dog to obtain an otherwise unreachable food. In the (3) Non-helper UMO and (4) Human partner groups dogs had restricted interaction with the remote control car and the unfamiliar human partners. In the Human partner, Helper UMO and Helper UMO Control groups the partners were able to revert dogs' choice for the small amount by indicating the small one, but the Non-helper UMO was not. We suggest that dogs are able to generalize their wide range of experiences with humans to another type of agent as well, based on the recognition of similarities in simple behavioural patterns.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84941985556&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84941985556&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0134575

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0134575

M3 - Article

C2 - 26241747

AN - SCOPUS:84941985556

VL - 10

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 8

M1 - e0134575

ER -