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SE: Wolves dislike injustice

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

SWEDEN – Wolves have a strong sense of justice. They can not stand when someone in the pack gets more special treatment than what they get. They stop cooperating with each other, according to a study. The researchers conclude that the behavior is innate.

Roland Johansson TT

In the past, when a number of occasions that dogs have a sense of justice.

Since it has been assumed that the behavior is a result of the dogs are domestic animals and have been bred specifically to be able to perceive similar phenomena.

But now the idea is scrapped. As the wolves behave in the same way it must be in the genes of the two species. Perhaps they have inherited the ability from a common ancestor.

The new study, published in Current Biology, is based on a series of experiments at the Veterinary University of Vienna, Austria.

In the experiments, the researchers learned dogs and wolves pressing buttons, whereupon they rewarded with a treat. But when they pressed the button without getting something, or a very small tidbit than their own species, they reacted immediately by refusing to participate in the further experiments.

Interestingly enough, the wolves far more sensitive than dogs. After they had been wronged, they held aloof from people, that the dogs did not. In addition, the highly ranked individuals more vulnerable to unfair treatment.

Facts: Justice

We humans have strong aversions against unjust treatment. It is assumed that this is an important mechanism for learning to recognize unwanted, unreliable individuals. This behavior is probably critical for a close cooperation between the people and the emergence of different types of communities.

This behavior is not unique to humans. Other social primates also react against injustice, as well as dogs and wolves, according to new studies. Possibly there is the behavior of a wide range of social species.

Source: Current Biology