Tag Archives: LiveScience

Michigan State University study: Good dog? Bad dog? Their personalities can change

24 Feb

Rafi Letzer wrote in the LiveScience article, Is Your Dog Super Smart? No, LOL:

Lea and his colleague Britta Osthaus, of Canterbury Christ Church University in the United Kingdom, examined more than 300 studies of dog cognition. The researchers compared the studies’ results with those from research into other carnivores, other social hunters and other domestic animals, “with a particular emphasis on wolves, cats, spotted hyenas, chimpanzees, dolphins, horses and pigeons,” the study said.
The researchers made specific comparisons between the different species in different categories of smarts: sensory cognition, physical cognition, spatial cognition, social cognition and self-awareness. The dogs did turn up smart, but not blazingly so.
In many areas, though, the comparisons were difficult to make due to a simple lack of data. For example, the researchers noted that both dogs and cats are known to be able to recognize and distinguish human voices. But the investigators couldn’t find any data to indicate which species can remember a greater number of distinct human voices, so it was impossible to compare the two on that front.
Zachary Silver, a graduate student and researcher at Yale’s Canine Cognition Center who was not involved in the study, told Live Science that the research provided “an excellent framework for future [comparative] research.” But he added that he thinks the authors overstated the idea that an excessive amount of study has been devoted to dogs.
“I don’t think that dogs are overstudied. The field of canine cognition is still very young, and there is still a great deal to be learned about how dogs think and view the world,” he said. “As a proponent of the comparative approach, I would argue that as a field we would be well-suited to increase our emphasis on species-to-species comparisons.”
There’s a straightforward reason for scientists to be interested in dog brains, Silver said, and it’s not that researchers think canines are animal geniuses.
“In my view, the existing literature does not necessarily imply that dogs are unusually intelligent per se. Rather, much of the recent research on canine cognition simply argues that dogs’ manner of thinking and reasoning about certain components of the world is distinct,” he said.
In other words, dogs aren’t super-thinkers, but they are special thinkers…. https://www.livescience.com/63742-dogs-brain-not-smart.html

Dogs have a distinct personalities.

Jennifer Nelson wrote in Dogs Have These 5 Major Personality Types:

The Confident Dog
A Confident Dog is comfortable in his surroundings and is a natural born leader. He can easily take charge of a situation and is also likely to be a team player. His confident manner will show in his body language.
Confident Dogs may display dominant behaviors, and reacting harshly to these behaviors or trying to dominate your dog may lead to aggression or more willfulness.
Contrary to popular belief, dominance is not a personality type but a term to describe the hierarchy between animals. A natural leader only needs the confidence and ability to lead his pack, he doesn’t need to resort to aggressiveness to maintain his alpha status. Dogs have been a different species from wolves for thousands of years, and trying to use a wolf pack mentality on your dog could actually backfire and cause him to mistrust you. Positive reinforcement is always the best way to train a dog, even a Confident Dog with dominant behaviors.
The Shy or Timid Dog
Just like people, dogs can be shy or nervous. Forcing your dog into situations that make him uncomfortable could have the opposite of your intended effect – while you’re trying to acclimate your dog to the world, he will interpret you as forcing him to do things that are extremely scary, which could lead to mistrust.
Shy Dogs tend to react very well to lots of praise, treats, encouragement, and introducing them to new people, places, or experiences at a slower pace. Shy Dogs will not enjoy loud, chaotic environments and may become insecure, fearful, or aggressive without gentle treatment. He will need lots of reassurance that he is safe, secure, and loved.
The Independent Dog
Many breeds were bred to live, act, and think independently of their owners, and those tendencies may remain in your dog’s instincts to this day.
Independent Dogs may not bond well with anybody they don’t see as a leader, and they tend to bond most with one person while remaining less enthusiastic about other people. They are perfectly okay by themselves and may even appear to be standoffish.
Trying to force an Independent Dog to be overly social may backfire and cause aggression. A dog with an independent personality type can be difficult to train without the right kind of motivation, since they would rather think for themselves than to do what you ask of them. You may need to experiment to see whether your Independent Dog is more motivated by treats, toys, or affection.
The Laidback, Happy Dog
This is the stereotypical friendly dog who loves everybody and would lead a robber directly to the family’s valuables with a wagging tail. They’ll typically get along with all people, dogs, and even cats.
Happy Dogs tend to be overly enthusiastic, especially without enough training or exercise. They are more likely to jump on people since they are so excited at the possibility of having another best friend for life. These types of dogs, especially when they are larger breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, can be scary for small children who can be knocked over by an exuberant dog’s love and affection. They need training to keep them calm when they meet people.
The Adaptable Dog
Slightly different from the Happy Dog, the Adaptable Dog is eager to please in any environment and will control his enthusiasm in favor of doing something that will make his owner happy.
This personality type is easiest to train, since they have such a strong desire to please. They are friendly without being overly exuberant and they mind their people. They tend to get along with people, other dogs, and cats, and can make great therapy dogs due to their calm, loving nature…. https://iheartdogs.com/dogs-have-these-5-major-personality-types/

Although, there are basic personality types, a Michigan State study suggests your dog’s personality may change over time.

Science Daily reported in Good dog? Bad dog? Their personalities can change, Like humans, dogs’ personalities likely change over time:

When dog-parents spend extra time scratching their dogs’ bellies, take their dogs out for long walks and games of fetch, or even when they feel constant frustration over their dogs’ naughty chewing habits, they are gradually shaping their dogs’ personalities. Dogs, like people, have moods and personality traits that shape how they react in certain situations. New findings from Michigan State University went where few researchers have gone before to reveal that, also like humans, dogs’ personalities likely change over time.
“When humans go through big changes in life, their personality traits can change. We found that this also happens with dogs — and to a surprisingly large degree,” said William Chopik, professor of psychology and lead author. “We expected the dogs’ personalities to be fairly stable because they don’t have wild lifestyle changes humans do, but they actually change a lot. We uncovered similarities to their owners, the optimal time for training and even a time in their lives that they can get more aggressive toward other animals.”
Additionally, Chopik found that dogs’ personalities can predict many important life outcomes. For example, canines’ personalities will influence how close they feel to their owners, biting behavior and even chronic illness.
The research, published in Journal of Research in Personality, is one of the first — and is the largest — studies of its kind to examine changes in dogs’ personalities. Chopik surveyed owners of more than 1,600 dogs, including 50 different breeds. Dogs ranged from just a few weeks old to 15 years, and were split closely between male and female. The extensive survey had owners evaluate their dog’s personalities and answered questions about the dog’s behavioral history. The owners also answered a survey about their own personalities.
“We found correlations in three main areas: age and personality, in human-to-dog personality similarities and in the influence a dog’s personality has on the quality of its relationship with its owner,” Chopik said. “Older dogs are much harder to train; we found that the ‘sweet spot’ for teaching a dog obedience is around the age of six, when it outgrows its excitable puppy stage but before its too set in its ways.”
One trait that rarely changes in age with dogs, Chopik said, was fear and anxiety.
Honing in on the saying, “dogs resemble their owners,” Chopik’s research showed dogs and owners share specific personality traits. Extroverted humans rated their dogs as more excitable and active, while owners high in negative emotions rated their dogs as more fearful, active and less responsive to training. Owners who rated themselves as agreeable rated their dogs as less fearful and less aggressive to people and animals.
The owners who felt happiest about their relationships with their dogs reported active and excitable dogs, as well as dogs who were most responsive to training. Aggression and anxiety didn’t matter as much in having a happy relationship, Chopiksaid…..

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190222125218.htm

Citation:

Good dog? Bad dog? Their personalities can change
Like humans, dogs’ personalities likely change over time
Date: February 22, 2019
Source: Michigan State University
Summary:
When dog-parents spend extra time scratching their dogs’ bellies, take their dogs out for long walks and games of fetch, or even when they feel constant frustration over their dogs’ naughty chewing habits, they are gradually shaping their dogs’ personalities.
Journal Reference:
William J. Chopik, Jonathan R. Weaver. Old dog, new tricks: Age differences in dog personality traits, associations with human personality traits, and links to important outcomes. Journal of Research in Personality, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2019.01.005

Here is the press release from Michigan State University:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 22-FEB-2019
Good dog? Bad dog? Their personalities can change
New findings from MSU went where few researchers have gone before to reveal that, like humans, dogs’ personalities likely change over time.
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
When dog-parents spend extra time scratching their dogs’ bellies, take their dogs out for long walks and games of fetch, or even when they feel constant frustration over their dogs’ naughty chewing habits, they are gradually shaping their dogs’ personalities. Dogs, like people, have moods and personality traits that shape how they react in certain situations. New findings from Michigan State University went where few researchers have gone before to reveal that, also like humans, dogs’ personalities likely change over time.
“When humans go through big changes in life, their personality traits can change. We found that this also happens with dogs – and to a surprisingly large degree,” said William Chopik, professor of psychology and lead author. “We expected the dogs’ personalities to be fairly stable because they don’t have wild lifestyle changes humans do, but they actually change a lot. We uncovered similarities to their owners, the optimal time for training and even a time in their lives that they can get more aggressive toward other animals.”
Additionally, Chopik found that dogs’ personalities can predict many important life outcomes. For example, canines’ personalities will influence how close they feel to their owners, biting behavior and even chronic illness.
The research, published in Journal of Research in Personality, is one of the first – and is the largest – studies of its kind to examine changes in dogs’ personalities. Chopik surveyed owners of more than 1,600 dogs, including 50 different breeds. Dogs ranged from just a few weeks old to 15 years, and were split closely between male and female. The extensive survey had owners evaluate their dog’s personalities and answered questions about the dog’s behavioral history. The owners also answered a survey about their own personalities.
“We found correlations in three main areas: age and personality, in human-to-dog personality similarities and in the influence a dog’s personality has on the quality of its relationship with its owner,” Chopik said. “Older dogs are much harder to train; we found that the ‘sweet spot’ for teaching a dog obedience is around the age of six, when it outgrows its excitable puppy stage but before its too set in its ways.”
One trait that rarely changes in age with dogs, Chopik said, was fear and anxiety.
Honing in on the saying, “dogs resemble their owners,” Chopik’s research showed dogs and owners share specific personality traits. Extroverted humans rated their dogs as more excitable and active, while owners high in negative emotions rated their dogs as more fearful, active and less responsive to training. Owners who rated themselves as agreeable rated their dogs as less fearful and less aggressive to people and animals.
The owners who felt happiest about their relationships with their dogs reported active and excitable dogs, as well as dogs who were most responsive to training. Aggression and anxiety didn’t matter as much in having a happy relationship, Chopik said.
“There are a lot of things we can do with dogs – like obedience classes and training – that we can’t do with people,” he said. “Exposure to obedience classes was associated with more positive personality traits across the dog’s lifespan. This gives us exciting opportunities to examine why personality changes in all sorts of animals.”
Chopik’s findings prove how much power humans have over influencing a dog’s personality. He explained that many of the reasons a dog’s personality changes are a result of the “nature versus nurture” theory associated with humans’ personalities.
Next, Chopik’s will research will examine how the environment owners provide their dogs might change the dogs’ behavior.
“Say you adopt a dog from a shelter. Some traits are likely tied to biology and resistant to change, but you then put it in a new environment where it’s loved, walked and entertained often. The dog then might become a little more relaxed and sociable,” Chopik said. “Now that we know dogs’ personalities can change, next we want to make strong connection to understand why dogs act – and change – the way they do.”
###
(Note for media: Please include a link to the original paper in online coverage: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092656618301661?via%3Dihub)
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Like humans, a dog’s personality can change for a variety of reasons.

Josie F. Turner wrote in the Animal Wised article, Why Has my Dog’s Personality Changed:

Which are the most common reasons for a dog’s change in personality?
• Castration: It is very common for a change in personality to occur after sterilizing your pet. We may find ourselves with a relaxed and submissive dog or rather the opposite.
• Old age: In old age our dog undergoes physical and mental changes such as the loss of some capabilities. For this reason we may observe a change where it becomes more unsociable or passive.
• Sexual maturity: At this stage of growth the dog explores changes in its body. It is very important that we continue to support socialization with other pets, people and environments during this phase. It must learn to behave in this new stage of life.
• New pet: If we add a new dog or cat to the family it may be that our beloved dog will show some jealous behavior or dominance towards the newcomer. Although this is normal behavior it is very important that it respects the new family member. We will put limits on the dog, though it is very important that it believes it is above (hierarchically speaking) the new pet.
• Disease: A sick dog may show abnormal behavior. If you think a change in behavior may be related to some kind of disease do not wait further and take your pet to the vet.
• Incorrect socialization: If your dog has not learned the importance of playing properly with other dogs as a puppy, then you will have to teach it to do so as an adult dog. Never stop encouraging socialization with other members of their own species as well as humans. Very important.
• Changes in the environment: If you have decided to move from a house to an apartment, you have taken away its toys without realizing or your pet lately spends a long time alone then you should ask yourself if these are the reasons that explain your dog’s change in personality.
• Loss of a loved one: Whether it is another dog or a human, the dog will deeply feel that loss much like you. It is a psychological problem that requires handling with care and providing the animal with new stimuli and motivations that distract it and help it overcome these difficulties.
• Baby at home: The arrival of a baby to the household can generate jealousy and envy in a dog. Although it is very important that a distance be maintained between the newcomer and our pet, we will try to ensure that each receives equal attention, care and pampering. Fostering a good relationship between the two is essential.
• Aggressiveness: Aggressiveness is a serious behavior problem as it feeds back and creates other problems seen in this list. It should be treated by a specialist.
• Depression: A multitude of symptoms can indicate that our dog is suffering from depression (lack of appetite, avoiding playing games, not interacting with others), this will likely be for a specific reason. We must look for the trigger to fix the problem.
• Anxiety: The lack of interaction with other dogs or an unattended basic need may be grounds for anxiety. Find out what the problem that generates anxiety in your pet is to fix it as soon as possible.
• Bad communication: A dog and its master do not always understand each other perfectly. It is important to learn and be informed about canine communication and how to deal with it. If you and your dog are not on the same wavelength this can cause confusion and discomfort in your environment and this will directly affect its personality.
• Phobias and fears: It is true that many dogs have irrational fears (other dogs, water, cats, cars, fireworks…). If the thing that causes fear in our dog is inevitable and present in our everyday environment we will have to practice a socialization process so that our pet understands that it should not fear that element, or at least learn to ignore it. Even if it results from a bad experience it is never too late to help your pet overcome its fears and apprehensions…. https://www.animalwised.com/why-has-my-dog-s-personality-changed-251.html

If the personality change of your pet is profound, you may need to consult your vet and seek pet training. See, Finding Professional Behavior Help https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/behavioral-help-your-pet

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Report: Motivation and study key elements in math learning

1 Jan

Moi has written about the importance of motivation in student learning. In Research papers: Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, moi wrote:

Moi often says education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process. A series of papers about student motivation by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) follows the Council on Foreign Relations report by Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein.

https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/research-papers-student-motivation-an-overlooked-piece-of-school-reform/

See, Motivation is increasingly researched as a key ingredient in student achievement https://drwilda.com/2012/10/02/motivation-is-increasingly-researched-as-a-key-ingredient-in-student-achievement/

CEP’s report is Student Motivation: School Reform’s Missing Ingredient.

Here is a portion of the press release:

Student Motivation: School Reform’s Missing Ingredient

CEP Report Summarizes Research on Understanding, Spurring Motivation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 22, 2012 – A series of papers by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) underscores the need for teachers, schools, parents and communities to pay more attention to the role of student motivation in school reform. While there is no single strategy that works to motivate all students, or even the same student in all contexts, the many different sources reviewed by CEP suggest various approaches that can help improve student motivation, the report finds.

For example, programs that tailor support to individual students who are at risk of losing motivation, that foster “college-going” cultures in middle and high schools, or that partner wit low-income parents to create more stimulating home learning environments can increase motivation, the report notes, but only if they incorporate factors that research has shown to be effective.

The CEP report, Student Motivation—An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, pulls together findings about student motivation from decades of major research conducted by scholars, organizations, and practitioners. The six accompanying background papers examine a range of themes and approaches, from the motivational power of video games and social media to the promise and pitfalls of paying students for good grades… The summary paper, six background reports, and an appendix table outlining the major theories of motivation are available for free at http://www.cep-dc.org. For further information, contact Ali Diallo at 301-656-0348 or ali@thehatchergroup.com.

Summary Paper – Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform (PDF format, 598 KB) *
Background paper 4 – What roles do parent involvement, family background, and culture play in studen (PDF format, 155 KB) *
Background paper 2 – Can money or other rewards motivate students? (PDF format, 188 KB) *
Background paper 3 – Can goals motivate students? (PDF format, 247 KB) *
(PDF format, 172 KB) *
Background paper 5 – What can schools do to motivate students? (PDF format, 237 KB) *
Background paper 6 – What nontraditional approaches can motivate unenthusiastic students? (PDF format, 244 KB) *
Appendix – Theories of motivation (PDF format, 69.4 KB) *
Press Release (PDF format, 41.3 KB) *

The report discusses the role of parents.

Tia Ghose of LiveScience writes in the article, Math Skills In Children Attributed To Motivation And Study Techniques–Not IQ Score, Study Shows which was posted at Huffington Post.

Looks like Tiger Mom had it half-right: Motivation to work hard and good study techniques, not IQ, lead to better math skills, a new study shows. 

But there’s a catch: The findings, published this month in the journal Child Development, show that keeping children’s heads in the math books by force probably won’t help.

The analysis of more than 3,500 German children found those who started out solidly in the middle of the pack in 5th grade could jump to the 63rd percentile by 8th grade if they were very motivated and used effective learning strategies, said lead author Kou Murayama, a psychology researcher at the University of California Los Angeles.

“The growth in math achievement was predicted by motivation and learning strategies,” Murayama told LiveScience. “Given that IQ did not show this kind of effect, we think this is impressive.”

Math on the brain

Just how innate math skills are is a controversial question. Some studies show that math skills emerge in babies, while others show that culture plays a huge role in shaping those skills.

For instance, men consistently outperform women on standardized math tests. But those differences may be due to math anxiety, or cultural influences, other studies have shown.

And in opinion surveys, people in Eastern countries often rate effort as most important to math ability, while Westerners typically say math ability is inborn. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/30/math-skills-children-motivation-study-iq_n_2382036.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

Citation:

Predicting Long-Term Growth in Students’ Mathematics Achievement: The Unique Contributions of Motivation and Cognitive Strategies

  1. Kou Murayama1,*,
  2. Reinhard Pekrun1,
  3. Stephanie Lichtenfeld1,
  4. Rudolf vom Hofe2

Article first published online: 20 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12036

© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

Additional Information(Show All)

How to CiteAuthor InformationPublication HistoryFunding Information

  1. This study was supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship (to K. Murayama) and four grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG; to R. Pekrun, Project for the Analysis of Learning and Achievement in Mathematics, PALMA; PE 320/11-1, PE 320/11-2, PE 320/11-3, PE 320/11-4).

It will not be popular on many fronts to acknowledge that motivation and effort are also part of the academic achievement solution.

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