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HuckleB

(35,773 posts)
Thu Apr 28, 2016, 01:02 PM Apr 2016

No, 'science' didn't 'prove' that dogs hate hugs

According to numerous outlets, a scientific study has found that the majority of dogs dislike being hugged, based on cues of distress found in a random assortment of photos pulled from the Internet. We at are not here to argue that you should go squeeze the life out of a puppy. But we are here to squeeze the life out of this misleading science coverage.
http://www.thegurdontimes.com/zz/lifestyle/20160428/no-science-didnt-prove-that-dogs-hate-hugs

"If you have an Internet connection, you've probably read at least one article in the past few days claiming that science has shown that dogs hate being hugged. We at are not here to argue that you should go squeeze the life out of a puppy. But we are here to squeeze the life out of this misleading science coverage.

According to numerous outlets, a scientific study has found that the majority of dogs dislike being hugged, based on cues of distress found in a random assortment of photos pulled from the Internet.

The problem here is that what's being reported as a "study" is, in fact, an op-ed written in the magazine Psychology Today by a single researcher.

"This is a set of casual observations," Stanley Coren, the retired University of British Columbia professor who penned the column, told The Post. He reiterated that his data collection wasn't part of a peer-reviewed study.

..."


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Much like the recent study on fructose, where journalists misconstrued it with HFCS, we see that science coverage is often rather poor.

13 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
No, 'science' didn't 'prove' that dogs hate hugs (Original Post) HuckleB Apr 2016 OP
General science knowledge is often rather poor PJMcK Apr 2016 #1
+1 HuckleB Apr 2016 #2
Thank you for your well-reasoned response. Delphinus Apr 2016 #4
Thank you, too (n/t) PJMcK Apr 2016 #6
K&R smirkymonkey Apr 2016 #3
My golden hated them so much.... Scruffy Rumbler Apr 2016 #5
I've never had a dog but Skittles May 2016 #10
. HuckleB Apr 2016 #7
Watch out! You will be waterboarded with HFCS for your transgressions! Monster corn stalks will now Rex Apr 2016 #8
I do enjoy a good magic show! HuckleB Apr 2016 #9
I've been enjoying your posts lately Fumesucker May 2016 #11
Thanks! HuckleB May 2016 #12
Yeah Science! Tommy_Carcetti May 2016 #13

PJMcK

(21,977 posts)
1. General science knowledge is often rather poor
Thu Apr 28, 2016, 01:44 PM
Apr 2016

It baffles me that so many Americans have so little understanding of the basic sciences and how the scientific process works. Science is everywhere in our daily lives and yet far too many people don't have a clue about science. This ignorance is seen in many ways in our culture and in this "news story" it's illustrated perfectly.

The quick, cheap and superficial headline makes the story exciting for the general public and since the Op-Ed was published by a respected journal, it lends the tale credence. It appears that many news organizations do not have a science editor to vet a story before it's reported erroneously as the author of the column makes clear that &quot T)his is a set of casual observations" that wasn't part of a peer-reviewed study. And yet it was claimed as fact on The Huffington Post's front page, among many other outlets.

A real study would not use "a random assortment of photos pulled from the Internet." Just as I'm often amused by the LOLcats that are posted on DU, (thank you, SalmonChantedEvening!), I know that these are not photographs that represent the normal life of these cats. Likewise, the photos of the dogs observed by the column's author were not necessarily indicative of anything. They were probably posted online or chosen because of the dog's unusual expressions or humorous behavior.

Most dog owners would dispute this article just based on their own experiences. Like lots of others, our dog loves to be hugged and petted and he seeks affection. There was a interesting segment in the re-make of "Cosmos" where Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses how wolves evolved to become today's dogs, (Episode 2, "Some of the Things That Molecules Do&quot . Briefly, ancient humans domesticated the canines by developing a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefits. This modern observation was based on evidence of the evolutionary process.

Perhaps this un-scientific column will inspire a proper study but, as I said, I think the basic premise is unlikely to be universally factual.

Delphinus

(11,821 posts)
4. Thank you for your well-reasoned response.
Thu Apr 28, 2016, 03:37 PM
Apr 2016

It is much appreciated.

As to your quote:
It baffles me that so many Americans have so little understanding of the basic sciences and how the scientific process works. Science is everywhere in our daily lives and yet far too many people don't have a clue about science. This ignorance is seen in many ways in our culture and in this "news story" it's illustrated perfectly.

We are not taught to reason. I am in my late 50's and grew up in a parochial school. Now I can't blame all things on that school system, but it was more important to believe what we were being told than it was to ask questions. When I did start to ask questions, it often garnered a negative response from the teachers. I am not sure much has changed in the intervening years.

Your response to the original post did not bash anyone and that is one great way to help educate.

And belated welcome to DU!

Scruffy Rumbler

(961 posts)
5. My golden hated them so much....
Thu Apr 28, 2016, 03:47 PM
Apr 2016

he would come over and lift my arm over his shoulder for a hug. He would sit up in front of my nieces and put his front legs over their shoulders and lean into them, resting his head against their's and they would stay like that for a minute or so... He hated hugging SO much! .

Skittles

(153,087 posts)
10. I've never had a dog but
Sun May 1, 2016, 04:23 AM
May 2016

my friends and neighbors' dogs seem to go out of their way to try to get me to love on them

 

Rex

(65,616 posts)
8. Watch out! You will be waterboarded with HFCS for your transgressions! Monster corn stalks will now
Sat Apr 30, 2016, 01:30 PM
Apr 2016

chase your car at night.

Come on man, the dogs TOLD him they were like really bummed out and stuff! Why do you hate The Science!?

Embrace The Science! Don't question it...like magnets and shit, how do they work!?

Fucking magic!


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