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11th Apr 2018

People who chat to their pets have this one thing in common

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Do you regularly have conversations with Rover? Do you get caught gabbing with Fluffy? If so, we have some good news for you.

It turns out that chatting to your pets is not, in fact, a sign of madness.

According to scientists, the truth is quite the contrary: people who have chats with animals or objects are more intelligent.

While most of us talked to our toys and pets when we were little, adults generally grow out of the habit known as anthropomorphizing as we get older.

However, if you’ve named your car and have daily discussions with the dog, you don’t need to be worried.

Speaking to Quartz, Behavioural Science Professor Nicholas Epsey of the University of Chicago said: “We often name objects like cars, instruments, boats, and cameras—all items that we develop special relationships with and consider extensions of our own identities. But it goes beyond naming: We think our cat is acting “sassy”; that the stock market is “angry” or “working to recover;” and we ask our car “why it won’t turn on” and call it a “rickety old man” when it starts to stall.

This is just the byproduct of having an active, intelligent social cognition—of having a brain that is programmed to see and perceive minds.”

Who’s a clever girl then?