Advertisement

Learning & Behavior

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 449–461 | Cite as

Dogs do not demonstrate a human-like bias to defer to communicative cues

  • Angie M. JohnstonEmail author
  • Yiyun Huang
  • Laurie R. Santos
Article

Abstract

Human children and domesticated dogs learn from communicative cues, such as pointing, in highly similar ways. In two experiments, we investigate whether dogs are biased to defer to these cues in the same way as human children. We tested dogs on a cueing task similar to one previously conducted in human children. Dogs received conflicting information about the location of a treat from a Guesser and a Knower, who either used communicative cues (i.e., pointing; Experiments 1 and 2), non-communicative physical cues (i.e., a wooden marker; Experiment 1), or goal-directed actions (i.e., grasping; Experiment 2). Although human children tested previously struggled to override inaccurate information provided by the Guesser when she used communicative cues, in contrast to physical cues or goal-directed actions, dogs were more likely to override the Guesser’s information when she used communicative cues or goal-directed actions than when she used non-communicative physical cues. Given that dogs did not show the same selective bias towards the Guesser’s information in communicative contexts, these findings provide clear evidence that dogs do not demonstrate a human-like bias to defer to communicative cues. Instead, dogs may be more likely to critically evaluate information presented via communicative cues than either physical or non-communicative cues.

Keywords

Social learning Theory of mind Canine cognition Comparative psychology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the members of the Canine Cognition Center at Yale for their helpful assistance and feedback, particularly Alondra Arguello, Mikey Bogese, Arianna Neal, Astrid Hengartner, Jack Schleifer, Kacie Saxer-Taulbee, Lena Nasrallah, Molly Byrne, Nele Löecher, Nikita Cotzias, and Emily Reagan. AMJ was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-1122492, YH was supported by a University of Rochester Discover Grant for Undergraduate Research, and the Canine Cognition Center at Yale was supported by an NSF REU grant (SMS-1659085). All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of and the approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Yale University (#2014-11616).

Supplementary material

13420_2018_341_MOESM1_ESM.docx (33 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (DOCX 32.8 kb)

References

  1. Bates, D., Maechler, M., & Bolker, B. (2012). lme4: Linear mixed-effects models using S4 classes (R Package Version 0.999999-0).Google Scholar
  2. Behne, T., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2005). One-year-olds comprehend the communicative intentions behind gestures in a hiding game. Developmental Science, 8(6), 492-499.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2005.00440.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Behne, T., Liszkowski, U., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2012). Twelve-month-olds’ comprehension and production of pointing. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 30(3), 359-375.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-835X.2011.02043.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ben-Aderet, T., Gallego-Abenza, M., Reby, D., & Mathevon, N. (2017). Dog-directed speech: Why do we use it and do dogs pay attention to it? Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284(1846), 20162429.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.2429 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Brand, R. J., Baldwin, D. A., & Ashburn, L. A. (2002). Evidence for ‘motionese’: Modifications in mothers’ infant-directed action. Developmental Science, 5(1), 72-83.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7687.00211 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Call, J., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2005). Copying results and copying actions in the process of social learning: Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and human children (Homo sapiens). Animal Cognition, 8(3), 151-163.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-004-0237-8 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Catala, A., Mang, B., Wallis, L., & Huber, L. (2017). Dogs demonstrate perspective taking based on geometrical gaze following in a Guesser–Knower task. Animal Cognition, 20(4), 1-9.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-017-1082-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cooper, J. J., Ashton, C., Bishop, S., West, R., Mills, D. S., & Young, R. J. (2003). Clever hounds: Social cognition in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 81(3), 229-244.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1591(02)00284-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cooper R. P., Abraham J., Berman S., & Staska M. (1997). The development of infants’ preference for motherese. Infant Behavior & Development, 20, 477–488.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-6383(97)90037-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Couillard, N. L., & Woodward, A. L. (1999). Children's comprehension of deceptive points. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 17(4), 515-521.  https://doi.org/10.1348/026151099165447 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Csibra, G. (2010). Recognizing communicative intentions in infancy. Mind & Language, 25(2), 141-168.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0017.2009.01384.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Csibra, G., & Gergely, G. (2011). Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366(1567), 1149-1157.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2010.0319 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Duranton, C., Range, F., & Virányi, Z. (2017). Do pet dogs (Canis familiaris) follow ostensive and non-ostensive human gaze to distant space and to objects? Royal Society Open Science, 4(7), 170349.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170349 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Farroni, T., Csibra, B., Simion, F., & Johnson, M. H. (2002). Eye contact detection in humans from birth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 99(14), 9602-9605.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.152159999 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Farroni, T, Mansfield, E., Lai, C., & Johnson, M. (2003). Infants perceiving and acting on the eyes: Tests of an evolutionary hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 85(3), 199-212.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0022-0965(03)00022-5 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gácsi, M., Györi, B., Gyoöri, B., Virányi, Z., Kubinyi, E., Range, F., … Miklósi, A. (2009). Explaining dog wolf differences in utilizing human pointing gestures: Selection for synergistic shifts in the development of some social skills. PLoS One, 4, e6584.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0006584 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Gergely, G., & Csibra, G. (2013). Natural pedagogy. In M. R. Banaji & S. A. Gelman (Eds.), Navigating the social world: What infants, children, and other species can teach us (pp. 127–132). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grieser D. L., & Kuhl P. K. (1988). Maternal speech to infants in a tonal language: Support for universal prosodic features in motherese. Developmental Psychology, 24, 14–20.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.24.1.14 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hare, B., Brown, M., Williamson, C., & Tomasello, M. (2002). The domestication of social cognition in dogs. Science, 298(5598), 1634-1636.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1072702 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hare, B., Plyusnina, I., Ignacio, N., Schepina, O., Stepika, A., Wrangham, R., & Trut, L. (2005). Social cognitive evolution in captive foxes is a correlated by-product of experimental domestication. Current Biology, 15(3), 226-230.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2005.01.040 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hare, B., Rosati, A., Kaminski, J., Bräuer, J., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2010). The domestication hypothesis for dogs' skills with human communication: A response to Udell et al. (2008) and Wynne et al. (2008). Animal Behaviour, e1-e6.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.06.031 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hare, B., & Tomasello, M. (2005). Human-like social skills in dogs? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(9), 439-444.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2005.07.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Horner, V., & Whiten, A. (2005). Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens). Animal Cognition, 8(3), 164-181.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-004-0239-6 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Itakura, S., Agnetta, B., Hare, B., & Tomasello, M. (1999). Chimpanzee use of human and conspecific social cues to locate hidden food. Developmental Science, 2(4), 448-456.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7687.00089 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  26. Jaswal, V. K., Croft, A. C., Setia, A. R., & Cole, C. A. (2010). Young children have a specific, highly robust bias to trust testimony. Psychological Science, 21(10), 1541-1547.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610383438 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Johnston, A. M., Holden, P. C., & Santos, L. R. (2017). Exploring the evolutionary origins of overimitation: A comparison across domesticated and non-domesticated canids. Developmental Science, 20(4).  https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12460 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Johnston, A. M., McAuliffe, K., & Santos, L. R. (2015). Another way to learn about teaching: What dogs can tell us about the evolution of pedagogy. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e44.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X14000491 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Johnston, A. M., Mills, C., & Landrum A. (2015). How do children weigh competence and benevolence when deciding whom to trust? Cognition, 144, 76-90.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2015.07.015 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Kaminski, J., & Nitzschner, M. (2013). Do dogs get the point? A review of dog-human communication ability. Learning and Motivation, 44(4), 294–302.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lmot.2013.05.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kaminski, J., Riedel, J., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2005). Domestic goats, Capra hircus, follow gaze direction and use social cues in an object choice task. Animal Behaviour, 69(1), 11-18.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.05.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kaminski, J., Schulz, L., & Tomasello, M. (2012). How dogs know when communication is intended for them. Developmental Science, 15(2), 222-232.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01120.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Koenig, M. A., & Harris, P. L. (2005). Preschoolers mistrust ignorant and inaccurate speakers. Child Development, 76(6), 1261-1277.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00849.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Krogh-Jespersen, S., & Echols, C. H. (2012). The influence of speaker reliability on first versus second labeling. Child Development, 83(2), 581-590.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01713.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Kuhl, P.K., Andruski, J.E., Chistovich, I.A., Chistovich, L.A., Kozhevnikova, E.V., Ryskina, V.L., Stolyarova, E.I., Sundberg, U., & Lacerda, F. (1997), Cross-language analysis of phonetic units in language addressed to infants. Science, 277, 684–686.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.277.5326.684 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Kundey, S., De Los Reyes, A., Arbuthnot, J., Allen, R., Coshun, A., Molina, S., & Royer, E. (2010). Domesticated dogs’ (Canis familiaris) response to dishonest human points. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 23, 201–215.Google Scholar
  37. Lakatos, G., Soproni, K., Dóka, A., & Miklósi, Á. (2009). A comparative approach to dogs’ (Canis familiaris) and human infants’ comprehension of various forms of pointing gestures. Animal Cognition, 12(4), 621-631.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-009-0221-4 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Legare, C. H., & Nielsen, M. (2015). Imitation and innovation: The dual engines of cultural learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19(11), 688-699.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2015.08.005 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Maginnity, M. E., & Grace, R. C. (2014). Visual perspective taking by dogs (Canis familiaris) in a Guesser–Knower task: Evidence for a canine theory of mind? Animal Cognition, 17(6), 1375-1392.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-014-0773-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Miklósi, Á., Polgárdi, R., Topál, J., & Csányi, V. (1998). Use of experimenter-given cues in dogs. Animal Cognition, 1(2), 113-121.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s100710050016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mills, C. M. (2013). Knowing when to doubt: Developing a critical stance when learning information from others. Developmental Psychology, 49(3), 404-418.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029500 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Palmquist, C. M., Burns, H. E., & Jaswal, V. K. (2012). Pointing disrupts preschoolers’ ability to discriminate between knowledgeable and ignorant informants. Cognitive Development, 27(1), 54-63.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2011.07.002 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Palmquist, C. M., & Jaswal, V. K. (2012). Preschoolers expect pointers (even ignorant ones) to be knowledgeable. Psychological Science, 23(3), 230-231.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611427043 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. Petter, M., Musolino, E., Roberts, W. A., & Cole, M. (2009). Can dogs (Canis familiaris) detect human deception? Behavioural Processes, 82(2), 109-118.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2009.07.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pongrácz, P., Hegedüs, D., Sanjurjo, B., Kővári, A., & Miklósi, Á. (2013). “We will work for you”–Social influence may suppress individual food preferences in a communicative situation in dogs. Learning and Motivation, 44(4), 270–281.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lmot.2013.04.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Povinelli, D. J., Reaux, J. E., Bierschwale, D. T., Allain, A. D., & Simon, B. B. (1997). Exploitation of pointing as a referential gesture in young children, but not adolescent chimpanzees. Cognitive Development, 12(4), 423-461.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0885-2014(97)90017-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Proops, L., Walton, M., & McComb, K. (2010). The use of human-given cues by domestic horses, Equus caballus, during an object choice task. Animal Behaviour, 79(6), 1205-1209.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.02.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Riedel, J., Schumann, K., Kaminski, J., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2008). The early ontogeny of human-dog communication. Animal Behaviour, 74(3), 1003-1014.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.08.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rossano, F., Nitzschner, M., & Tomasello, M. (2014). Domestic dogs and puppies can use human voice direction referentially. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 281(1785), 20133201.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.3201 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Scheider, L., Grassmann, S., Kaminski, J., & Tomasello, M. (2011). Domestic dogs use contextual information and tone of voice when following a human pointing gesture. PLoS One, 6(7), e21676.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021676 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  51. Scheider, L., Kaminski, J., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2013). Do domestic dogs interpret pointing as a command? Animal Cognition, 16(3), 361–372.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-012-0577-8 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Soproni, K., Miklósi, Á., Topál, J, & Csányi, V. (2001). Comprehension of human communicative signs in pet dogs (Canis familiaris). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 115(2), 122-126.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0735-7036.115.2.122 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Szetei, V., Miklósi, Á., Topál, J., & Csányi, V. (2003). When dogs seem to lose their nose: An investigation on the use of visual and olfactory cues in communicative context between dog and owner. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 83(2), 141–152.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1591(03)00114-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Takaoka, A., Maeda, T., Hori, Y., & Fujita, K. (2015). Do dogs follow behavioral cues from an unreliable human? Animal Cognition, 18(2), 475-483.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-014-0816-2 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Téglás, E, Gergely, A., Kupán, K., Miklósi, Á., & Topál, J. (2012). Dogs’ gaze following is tuned to human communicative signals. Current Biology, 22(3), 209-212.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2011.12.018 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Tomasello, M. (2008). Origins of human communication. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  57. Tomasello, M., Call, J., & Gluckman, A. (1997). Comprehension of novel communicative signs by apes and human children. Child Development, 68(6), 1067-1080.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1997.tb01985.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., Call, J., Behne, T., & Moll, H. (2005). Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28(05), 675-691.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X05000129 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Topál, J., Gergely, G., Erdőhegyi, A., Csibra, G., & Miklósi, Á. (2009). Differential sensitivity to human communication in dogs, wolves, and human infants. Science, 325(5945), 1269-1272.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1176960 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Topál, J., Kis, A., & Oláh, K. (2014). Dogs’ sensitivity to human ostensive cues: A unique adaptation. The social dog: Behavior and cognition. Elsevier, San Diego, pp. 319-346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vanderbilt, K. E, Heyman, G. D., & Liu, D. (2014). In the absence of conflicting testimony children trust inaccurate informants. Developmental Science, 17(3), 443-451.  https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12134 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Virányi, Z., Gácsi, M., Kubinyi, E., Topál, J., Belényi, B., Ujfalussy, D., & Miklósi, Á. (2008). Comprehension of human pointing gestures in young human-reared wolves (Canis lupus) and dogs (Canis familiaris). Animal Cognition, 11, 373–387.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-007-0127-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Brain and Cognitive SciencesUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations