September 8th, 2018| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


The other day, biological and experimental psychologists from Queen Mary University, London, performed an interesting study at the Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats in Kent: “Goats Prefer Positive Human Emotional Facial Expressions,” published in Royal Society Open Science.

Goats like happy humans!

(You’ve goat to be kidding me!)

Twenty goats (already domesticated and fully habituated to human presence) were shown greyscale human pictures of the faces of the same individuals—unknown to said animals—faces that were positive (happy) and negative (angry). Both pictures in a given pair were mounted three feet apart, each about fifteen feet from the goat subject.

Said Christian Nawroth, co-author:

Goats looked and interacted on average 1.4 seconds with the happy faces and 0.9 seconds with the angry faces. That means that goats spend approximately 50 percent more time to look and interact with happy images compared to angry ones.”

Reported the study:

Overall, goats differentiated the two sets of emotional expressions and preferred to approach happy faces first, with physical interaction defined as touching the image with their snout. … This indicates that the potential for cross-species perception of emotions via human visual cues is far more widespread than previously believed.”

Goats like happy humans! Goats!! Who knew!!!

In addition, goats significantly preferred to interact with the positive images when they were on the right side of the test arena, suggesting that there might be a differential engagement of the left-brain hemisphere for approaching happy faces (or an engagement of the right hemisphere for avoiding the negative images on the left side). It is unlikely that the preferential interaction of our goats with happy faces is due to a specific conditioned response because we used unfamiliar faces that were never rewarded (or served as punishment) during the test, even though experience potentially plays a very important role in this cognitive processing. We hypothesize that goats generalized human facial features from previous positive (and negative) interactions with humans, which resulted in a preference for the happy images.”

So, if you are a goatherd or a raiser of cabritos, don’t scowl!

Said Dr. Alan McElligott, leader of the group:

The study has important implications for how we interact with livestock and other species, because the abilities of animals to perceive human emotions might be widespread and not just limited to pets.”

Goats are, apparently, pretty sophisticated. Go figure!

One commenter asked:

Just as flight attendants/politicians smile at passengers/constituents, to keep them contented and manageable?”

But there are better reasons to be happy, as the Bible tells us.

I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness.
Psalm 31:7

I rejoice at Your word, As one who finds great spoil.
Psalm 119:162

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

To the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing,
so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
1 Peter 4:13

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1–2

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.
Jude 24–25

Share Your Thoughts

Copyright © 2012 Homiletix  |  Blog theme by ThemeShift customized by Gurry Design  |  Full sitemap