For those who love nothing more than talking to their pets then felt a little embarrassment, there’s actually no need to fret. According to an expert, it actually shows intelligence.
Most pet owners will admit that they tend to “anthropomorphise” or rather speak to their pet as if it’s human.
“Historically, anthropomorphising has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet,” Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioural science at the University of Chicago, told Quartz.
In other words, if you reckon your cat is “sassy”, it’s all just the “byproduct of having an active, intelligent social cognition—of having a brain that is programmed to see and perceive minds.”
In fact, the practice has been around for thousands of years and has a very important reason to do so.
By giving a non-human subject human qualities, we can both be friends with it and explain unpredictable behaviour to ensure human survival and intelligence.
This may also explain why human brains are hardwired to see faces everywhere.
Distinguishing friends from potentially fatal predators ensures survival but it’s also a crucial means of understanding and communicating emotions, thoughts, and intentions.
Plus, it happens to occur most frequently with what we love. Psychology agrees that the more we like someone or the closer we are to them, the more likely we are to engage with their mind.
So keep talking away to your pets – you’re actually increasing your social intelligence in the process!