Upon the recent story in the news highlighting a study which found women to understand dog growls better than men, we at thatsfarming.com carried out some research of our own to see if this really is the case.
The study which was originally carried out by a team of Hungarian researchers found women to have a better understanding of the different growls dogs let out. The study was completed by researchers T. Farágo, N. Takács, Á Miklósi and P. Pomgrácz. It was titled as “Dog growls express various contextual and affective content for human listeners” and featured various different results involving animals.
The study found that 81% of participants could all classify a dogs “playful” growl, while 60% could single out a food growl, and 50% could comprehend threatening growls.
The conclusion of the researchers was as follows “Our findings emphasize that although emotions may have common acoustic encoding, deciphering of the contextual information of another species' vocal behaviour also involves learning. This phenomenon has already been seen in the case of assessing the emotions in species with different levels of familiarity to human listeners, but now we also found evidence for it in less common types of dog vocalizations. Our results may also indicate that dogs communicate honestly their size and inner state in serious contest situations, where confrontation would be costly, such as during guarding of their food from another dog. At the same time, in contexts with assumedly more uncertain inner states, such as in play or when threatened by a stranger, they may manipulate certain key parameters in their growls for an exaggerated aggressive and playful expression. According to our results, adult humans seem to understand and respond accordingly to this acoustic information during cross-species interactions with dogs.”
The study results came back and found that women have a general overall better understanding of these dog growls. This may be due, according to the research team, the fact that women have a higher emotional sensibility than men.
We took to twitter, setting a poll for our readers, to find out what their opinion on the study was. We asked the question who they thought had a better understanding.
The results are in and out of three possible answers, (1) Women, (2) men and (3) Nobody, the answer number 3 Nobody was the resounding choice with 69% of the votes. 6% of all voters agreed with the study results, while 25% of men like to think they have the better understanding.
As I said the results are in and it seems nobody really can, according to our readers anyway.
To see the results of our poll feel free to check out our twitter page.