In a simple experiment, researchers at the University of Chicago sought to find out whether a rat would release a fellow rat from an unpleasantly restrictive cage if it could. The answer was yes.
The free rat, occasionally hearing distress calls from its compatriot, learned to open the cage and did so with greater efficiency over time. It would release the other animal even if there wasn’t the payoff of a reunion with it. Astonishingly, if given access to a small hoard of chocolate chips, the free rat would usually save at least one treat for the captive — which is a lot to expect of a rat.
The researchers came to the unavoidable conclusion that what they were seeing was empathy — and apparently selfless behavior driven by that mental state.
“A New Model of Empathy: The Rat” by David Brown, Washington Post

In a simple experiment, researchers at the University of Chicago sought to find out whether a rat would release a fellow rat from an unpleasantly restrictive cage if it could. The answer was yes.

The free rat, occasionally hearing distress calls from its compatriot, learned to open the cage and did so with greater efficiency over time. It would release the other animal even if there wasn’t the payoff of a reunion with it. Astonishingly, if given access to a small hoard of chocolate chips, the free rat would usually save at least one treat for the captive — which is a lot to expect of a rat.

The researchers came to the unavoidable conclusion that what they were seeing was empathy — and apparently selfless behavior driven by that mental state.

“A New Model of Empathy: The Rat” by David Brown, Washington Post

©2 years ago with 91,067 notes

Washington Post
  1. lovelylookinlass3 reblogged this from what-rabbit-hole
  2. land-of-infinity-and-fandoms reblogged this from spikypunkhedgehog
  3. thebrasspiccolo reblogged this from spikypunkhedgehog
  4. spikypunkhedgehog reblogged this from mindawake
  5. foxygrandman reblogged this from mindawake
  6. mindawake reblogged this from fireofspring
  7. wolfpetal5 reblogged this from pineapple-of-my-eye
  8. finishphobic reblogged this from kadabralin
  9. doctorvoltaire reblogged this from liberalpropagandagroup
  10. kaycupcakeing reblogged this from work-hard-stay-dedicated
  11. geek--haven reblogged this from liberalpropagandagroup
  12. liberalpropagandagroup reblogged this from friedch1cken
  13. vaodview reblogged this from supermerwholocked
  14. im-waiting-for-a-blue-box reblogged this from babynarwhalshineyeyes
  15. asciencestudent reblogged this from work-hard-stay-dedicated
  16. friedch1cken reblogged this from strugglingforadmission
  17. drowsystudent reblogged this from strugglingforadmission
  18. strugglingforadmission reblogged this from work-hard-stay-dedicated
  19. work-hard-stay-dedicated reblogged this from study-bitch
  20. itsbenperry reblogged this from zigzagzoon
  21. semi-specificity reblogged this from turtletot43
  22. kadabralin reblogged this from tehkukikookie
  23. vertigofreeze reblogged this from mynothingplaces
  24. mynothingplaces reblogged this from betsmusings
  25. slice-of-applepie reblogged this from natteiu