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  • Battered dogs attract more empathy than battered adults, study finds

    ABA Journal - 08/20/2013

    Researchers at Northeastern University have found that people feel more empathy towards hurt or battered dogs than for an adult human.

    But when it comes to babies, the playing field is level.

    The findings are from a study conducted by Northeastern University sociology professors Jack Levin and Arnold Arluke that was presented at this month’s meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York City, according to Boston Magazine and a news release.

    In the study, Levin and Arluke asked 240 students from Northeastern University to read one of four fictional news articles about the beating of a 1-year-old child, an adult in his 30s, a puppy, or a 6-year-old dog. Each story was identical except for the identity of the victim. After reading the story, the students, who didn’t know the stories were fake, were asked to rate their feelings of empathy towards the victim.