T O P

Rat saves another rat's life for purely selfless reasons. Empathy knows no boundaries. (Link in the comments)

Rat saves another rat's life for purely selfless reasons. Empathy knows no boundaries. (Link in the comments)

VastOlives

Rats. Together. Strong


Arglefarb

Another reason that calling politicians rats is an insult to rats


LambdaLambo

or using rats as an insult for anything. I hate that shit, rats are amazing.


ALikeSupreme

What about rat bastard? A bastard rat is a bastard rat still.


Luthiffer

You make a valid point. I'm not sure how to process it.


RandomStallings

Valid points? Yeah, me either.


1stSuiteinEb

Is every rat a rat bastard or do they have secret rat wedding rituals we aren't aware of?


Specific_Gas2543

You never can tell with rats....


murse_joe

Can’t argue with that u/MMBbot 5


TheVetheron

Underrated comment right here. Take my upvote and reward.


TFlo904

they leave you in the cage and take all the chocolate treats


SatoshiNosferatu

Unless it’s a giant New York rat eating another giant rat under a garbage bin.


BiggestFlower

You wouldn’t waste a rat


Desos001

Yea, rats are too good of a term for career politicians.


frenlyapu

THANK YOU!🐁🐀🐁🐀


wataha

You are now moderator of /r/rats


Orion1618

My grandfather was an assistant in a study regarding rats. The floor in the cage had low current electricity applied to it with an insulated stand just big enough for one rat to fit. The main researcher was sure the rats would fight over the spot. Every time my grandfather checked, they were all stacked on top of each other, comfy and safe. Researcher said it was a fluke and to knock them off whenever he found them that way. So he knocked them off and watched them pile back up, keeping everyone safe, every single time.


FaultyDrone

They did better than Jack and Rose in the titanic


I_Dashboard_It

Gold.


HugeAmbassador2238

My work cleaned out the freezer and in the corner were two rats, cuddled up together as tight as could be. It was really heartbreaking, they looked alive and you could sense their love for each other. Probably siblings who thought they won the lottery when they entered.


StarsFan17

Why Rose, why?!


HugeAmbassador2238

he knew she had the necklace, and the iceberg was all part of her elaborate crime. Remember when she distracted the guys who were supposed to look for bergs?


happy_bluebird

was this study published? I want to read it!


Demon997

Probably not, why publish when you don’t get the results you want and refuse to acknowledge the novel results in front of you?


happy_bluebird

because I want to hear the academic write-up of "the rats piled up on top of each other and when we pushed them down, they did it again"


Demon997

Right, but what they wanted to show was that rats will fight for comfort, thus proving that capitalism is natural or whatever. Results showing that most creatures will cooperate and share actively goes against what they’re trying to show, and means we should probably treat them much better.


happy_bluebird

it was a joke... I get that


Fishycrackers

If I was running that research study and got the result "rats will cooperate and pile on top of each other for safety", you bet your ass I'm publishing. That's a positive but unexpected finding, what more could I ask for? My hypothesis is more boring than the actual results. The conclusion that the animals have empathy and deserve to be better treated has so many implications for the ethics of future animal based research, animal welfare in general, farming etc. Even if my paper ends up being "controversial" for it's findings, it will be well cited and a stripped down, almost non-scientific simplification of it's results will probably make news headlines.


Demon997

So much of our research is utterly fucked, because they’ll only see the conclusions they want. A lot of our addiction research uses rats. Turns out a rat alone in a boring cage will do drugs until it dies. So they based decades of addiction treatment on that. A rat in a large interesting cage with other rats? Pretty rarely does drugs, and not very much of them. Which suggests a totally different model of treatment, one based around solving the other problems in the patients life and re-integrating them with their community. But you know, that would be expensive and we couldn’t blame them for it.


Petrichordates

I feel like the rat alone in a boring cage model is usually more applicable than the happy rat with family and friends model but they're both relevant and more research is always useful.


Demon997

It is probably a good model for why people get addicted. But it’s a crappy model for successful treatment and prevention methods.


FirAvel

This is extra fucked up because rats are SUPER social animals. I have 3 girls and holy shit they love each other so much. When our original 2 died, the last one left got super depressed. We had to get her 2 babies to raise to bring her out of the depression. She loves her girls so much it’s crazy. They’re such sweet, loving animals.


Boopy7

I only hear good things about rats from people who have them as pets! Plus they are really really smart, like in the study in which they literally learn to drive cars and navigate through mazes and drive better than most people. I loved that one.


FirAvel

They are! My girls are litter box trained, and they LOVE figuring out puzzles.


Readytodie80

They are so much better pets then hamsters. My rats actually loved to be play with. Why someone isn't selectively breeding longer living rats i don't know. I've read that the line of rats that was bred for animal testing were we get fancy rats from have health problems as it was useful. Imagine rats that lived for 5-7 years it would be so much less heart ache.


pidgeonshrapnel

Good news, not only are rats able to drive, [they *thoroughly* enjoy doing it.](https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/11/these-rats-learned-to-drive-tiny-cars-for-science/) :D


JeshkaTheLoon

Rats are such wonderful pets. So intelligent and full of love. Sadly, their lives are way too short. I always say, that if I could have one thing from the Harry Potter universe, it would be rats that have a way longer lifespan. But they don't need to be magically extra intelligent. Not talking about Scabbers, by the way, but the rats in the petshop when Ron goes there because Scabbers is "sick" in "Prisoner of Azkaban", and the shopkeeper says that Scabbers is a regular rat and just old, and then recommends a "magic" rat. The comment about those magic rats being way more intelligent always irked me, though, because as already mentioned, rats are alread smart.


you_dead_soap_dog

Not to undercut how lovely this story is, but rats prefer sleeping in a pile like that even when they have heaps of space available. It looks super uncomfortable to us, but the close presence of other rats makes them feel safe.


pidgeonshrapnel

I think dog piles of cuddly rats being normal actually makes the story better


sfwjaxdaws

Not my grown ass sobbing at the OP and this comment because rats are so good and kind and I love them so much


manteiga_night

now you've made me feel bad for calling covidiots plague rats


Ishmael128

Compatrirats.


Russell_Bloodstone

Comrats


ProphecyRat2

Yep.


OhMeowWhat

I’ve seen this behavior in my own backyard. I had a live trap for squirrels that kept eating my succulents (I would release them several miles away) and one night when I noticed the door of the trap was shut, I came out and saw one rat inside and his/her buddy had dug underneath the trap to try and free it. Needless to say I opened the door to let the trapped one escape - I didn’t have the heart to break up that dynamic duo.


nutlikeothersquirls

Awesome story! And totally off topic, but try grating some Irish Spring soap into and around your succulents. I had some issues with mine getting eaten and saw that tip. It worked like a charm! And I didn’t have to redo it for probably a month or so, as I grated fairly large slivers. Edit: autocorrect, ugh!


Megalocerus

I knew a person who owned an orchard, and used scented soap to keep the deer from the trees.


TheLilChicken

We do this un Alaska to keep moose off trees


Babys_Breadth

What do moose’s do on trees? Just run up on it?


TheLilChicken

They eat them. They have stripped my grandmas fruit trees to a small stub in the ground


Babys_Breadth

WOW


WakeoftheStorm

Moose eat trees like stalks of celery


OhMeowWhat

Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely be trying that. These squirrels were so aggressive and they’d just run off with huge pieces of leaves right in front of me and my dog lol.


Cadnee

Maybe if you feed them away from the succulents they'll not eat them


OhMeowWhat

I wish! Part of the reason there are so many squirrels are all the acorns from the oak trees around me. So in addition to tearing up the soil and plants to bury acorns, they eat my plants too! They are relentless. Cute, but relentless.


WildContinuity

if not, try sprinkling chilli powder on things you don't want them to eat.


davirice

This! It works! Honestly!


atronimous

Name checks out


Substantial-Flow-199

I had four rescue rats at my house when an outside rat got in. The outside rat tried chewing every inch of that cage trying to free my girls, and my girls were giving this motherfucker food!


Demon997

Hide your kids, hide your rats!


WeaselDance

I had seven ferrets at my house when my cat thoughtfully delivered a half-grown live rat to the premises. Ferrets need several hours of exercise out of their cages, so that meant I couldn’t put down traps or poison or anything that might hurt them. But ferrets are also carnivores and excellent hunters. That rat might have a short brutal life, depending on how my gentle pet ferrets felt. I knew they had never hunted anything before. But I did see my girl Darkpaw take a moth down with surprising fury once. And she destroyed my house plant in less than 7 seconds. So who knew what could happen? Well, a month later, I found Mr Rat staring at me from inside the cage of my tiniest fluffiest girl. She stood proudly beside him, as if they had just eloped. “I don’t care. I love him.” “Food is awesome.” I gave up and put out a humane trap. Ten months later, I hear a noise. I look down to see Mr Rat in the humane trap, only now he’s huge. He has actual fat rolls. He looks like the Michelin Man of rats. It was a trap for minks and otters, and he is taking up most of it. I guess she kicked him out. Mr Rat got released into a park with a water source, bushes, trees, and lots of places where lazy humans drop food. He had plenty of buffer to help him out. And he was too fat to be lifted by hawks, so he had that going for him. My girl got a new man, a dark-eyed white ferret who looked nothing like Mr Rat. Love is fickle.


Substantial-Flow-199

I like it.


hrnogfcniyhh

Does anyone know if squirrels have communities and would you be kind of screwing them over by doing this? I always wonder about this. I’m not judging you btw it sounds like you were trying to find a nice solution for them.


TheLastDrops

Also worth considering If it's a female squirrel it may have kits somewhere to look after.


OhMeowWhat

I’d have to imagine that they do have communities since they communicate and play with each other. I caught a huge squirrel that was so big when he rattled the cage it moved around on the ground and I swear he was letting out a warning call to others as I didn’t catch another squirrel for months.


wai_bother

Grey squirrels make a sound called scolding iirc, and is indeed a warning sound to other squirrels. Every time I hear it, it's either a cat, snake, or a hawk they're screaming about.


TopperLee

Is that where they grab their tummies and just fucking scream over and over again?


AutumnLeaves1939

You’re a good person


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Canvaverbalist

"In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself." Uncle Iroh.


hwiwhy

Updoot for Uncle Iroh, no matter the context.


unknowntrashscapes

holy shit i have crippling anxiety almost all of the time, and i am always going out of my way to help other people, as it's one of my favorite pastimes this being the case, i can't even fathom how bad my anxiety would be if i wasn't doing that D:


RacketLuncher

>holy shit i have crippling anxiety almost all of the time, and i am always going out of my way to help other people, as it's one of my favorite pastimes Careful with that, it's frequent for anxious/depressed people to distract themselves with other people's problem in order to ignore their own problems (unaware).


SheikahEyeofTruth

It doesn't even matter if you are aware this is a thing, you'll still do it. Just ask me.


RacketLuncher

I know, I believe you. But at least knowing is better than not knowing, at least you are aware that it is a problem. Therapy is a good start to fixing that issue and many many more. Heck, I'd recommend therapy to everyone if it wasn't such a limited and costly ressource; the knowledge gained can improve anyone's life, even if that life was already good.


ilikesaucy

If I did something good, I'll feel better about myself. If I'm helping others, it's because I'm kind of selfish, doing it for my pleasure.


TellMeToSaveALife

Pheobe?


funky_gigolo

Don't quote me on this, but I imagine the fear response that is triggered from seeing others in strife is to do with mirror neurons. IIRC mirror neurons mimic others' experiences of emotion, which we know as empathy. So alleviating the fear of others would also be a way of alleviating our own mirrored and empathetic sense of fear. Been a long time since I studied cognitive neuropsychology so would love someone more knowledgeable to confirm.


groundciv

Looking back on the last 10 years of my life, I was most charitable when I was in the worst spots. Nowadays I’m doing pretty ok and I’ll do the real easy shit, helping an old dude find a department at the VA I kind of know about etc, but I’m not replacing batteries at gas pumps or any of that milk of human kindness shit I pulled when I was on the knifes edge between functioning member of society or homeless tragedy. Partially, I have less free time and can’t go doing random ass automotive maintenance when I’ve got a job and a wife and kid at home. While I have more walking around money I’ve also got more bills to pay. My current broke is my Walmart truck unloader rich. I’ll spot somebody $8 at the grocery store when WIC won’t quite stretch and I’m in a hurry, but I’m not doing landscaping to help my neighbor make rent anymore. But thinking back on the bad days when I felt stressed and useless all the time and rarely had 2 dimes to rub together, I got so much satisfaction from doing little 3 hour mercy missions.


WildContinuity

this is actually so true and made me realise one of the few things that makes me feel better, so thanks


floatinthruthecosmos

Interesting to know! I volunteered for 5 years at an animal shelter and loved it more than any other job (also animal related) I’ve had that paid me.


HotGirlOnProxy

That's super interesting, it helps biologically contextualize our collectivist/social behaviors. Also, its good you marked your profile lol. "Wasn't I violently sobbing to your music last weekend? Nope, someone else"


lonely_eyed_girl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-new-model-of-empathy-the-rat/2011/12/08/gIQAAx0jfO_story.html


Trintard

Thank you, was curious


statsasker

That article is actually incomplete and a bit outdated. Rats do help other rats, but only if they're familiar with them. They do not help 'outsider' rats (even though they feel empathy for them). This recent article has more information: https://elifesciences.org/articles/65582 And the corresponding Phys.org version: https://phys.org/news/2021-07-rats-kindhumans-similarly-wired.html


pass-the-word

That was from 2011 and I hadn’t heard about it?!


FirstEvolutionist

Dawkins' "The ~~Selfless~~ Selfish Gene" is from 1976 and talks about this. It also gave us the word *meme*. edit: brainfart.


fer_t

The title is actually the opposite, it's called *The Selfish Gene*. It's a life changing book, nevertheless.


bitchcatsandtequila

My rats must not be very empathetic. If I give them each a strawberry one will eat it faster and then fight the other one for theirs.


you_dead_soap_dog

I know right. I can definitely see them opening the cage, but relinquishing a treat? Absolutely not. It is really funny when one decides to hide their treat for later then steal somebody else's, then the victim goes and steals the stashed treat, and this cycle repeats itself a few times. It's like a ratty Benny Hill bit.


Asphalt_Animist

Because they're not going hungry, they're more willing to compete for the good stuff. You'll fight for the blankets with your SO, but lost in a blizzard, you're more eager to share.


bitchcatsandtequila

Very valid point.


mk19ez

I don't find this too surprising. I've always felt like, with the obvious exception of outlyers and certain psychological disorders, we are all naturally empathetic or at least start life as such. Whether/how that changes really depends on the lives we live.


megamind59

I was thinking the same thing. Of course empathy exists everywhere. Life evolves as species, not as individuals. Any individual organism is a node in a network. It pisses me off when we start out with the fundamental assumption that we're isolated individuals who only operate out of self-interest. The atomisation is a symptom of how we're taught to think in a capitalist society, but underneath we're all this one thing.


Linda-Belchers-wine

I dont understand why people still think animals dont have the same feelings we do. They prove to us quite often that they do.


codon011

I would like to know why some humans don’t seem to have the same emotional capacity as these rats.


wataha

Rats don't believe that God created them to be more important than other species.


TFlo904

Humans bred that trait out of certain humans cuz who else is gonna kill da baddies


Anti-sad

We have the ability to choose to behave in less evolved ways for self-gratification, rather than the good of the species. Yay us!


ydoccian

Honestly, if you look at humans today, it seems obvious that empathy is being bred/evolved out of Homo Sapiens.


mcgoran2005

I used to teach science to middle schoolers and you would be amazed (or maybe not but I sure was) how many people don’t think humans are animals. I kept trying to get them (and their parents) to explain what we are if not animals and they just kept quoting bible stuff at me. It was super weird. It made teaching biology very frustrating.


oddsonni

It helps justify meat consumption and other things like that. I eat meat, I'm enjoying some awesome beef enchiladas right now, but animals do have emotions and compassion is certainly one of them.


Finito-1994

Here’s the thing. I know that eating meat is natural. I love eating meat. I know animals would eat each other without hesitation. But I also know that animals go through hell in the meat industry and exist only to die. If we didn’t have alternatives to meat, I would not have a problem. We gotta survive afterall. But since we do have an alternative, and it’s causing harm to animals and the planet, I do think there’s a problem. I can’t say there’s nothing wrong with it without being intellectually dishonest with myself. Will probably go vegan someday.


ToothpickInCockhole

If you read I think you would enjoy (based off your one comment lol) reading Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. It was written in the 70’s so there’s some outdated language (such as using “retarded” to describe mentally ill people) but it still has a lot of merit and is a really interesting break down of our relationship with animals. I also recommend the documentaries Dominion and Seaspiracy. Going vegan can seem daunting and difficult but once you really put an effort into understanding how fucked our food-system is it becomes clear it is a part of the path for a better future. Plus it’s become a lot easier to eat without animal products nowadays. If you wanna start, I’d recommend experimenting and making vegan dishes, once I started cooking more I realized how easy it can be to eat vegan. Sorry for the long comment, you and some others in the sub just seem pretty open minded to the whole thing. All the best.


NPE37

I'm also a meat eater. I think the detachment from seeing the meat cut and in packaging helps us filter out what the animals must go through. If people could actually see what goes on in meat factories and the kill zone then I doubt they'd be so quick as to consume meat. I love meat but I do feel bad eating it.


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KiranPhantomGryphon

I do eat meat, and while i’m not super into meat substitutes (think Impossible Burger), I can really enjoy a good meatless meal. I’ve had tons of good vegetarian meals at restaurants, and while I’m not one myself, it makes me happy that the meals vegetarians are getting at these places are actually good.


Geronimomo

Cool!


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suspiciousfishy

If we only got our meat from sustainable hunting or small scale farming with the best ethical practices I wouldn't really have a problem with it. It's the absolutely horrific factory farming that is the issue. If people treated meat as an occasional luxury rather than a necessity for every single meal we'd get to a much better place!


deafvet68

If I had to kill a chicken myself to eat it, I wouldn't. Chicken isn't one of my most favorite foods, but still. Likewise (more so) for killing a cow/cattle, or even fish.


herculesmeowlligan

Why not try going without it for a short while and see if you could enjoy a meat-free diet? Assuming you feel some sort of moral conflict when eating meat. Maybe you don't, and hey that's alright too.


deafvet68

I do, to an extent. I don't cook, live alone, and even preparing/assembling meals is a challenge for me. Am pretty healthy and active, am 72 but at my last physical the doc said that my bloodwork was excellent. Slight vitamin D deficiency which I take supplements for, and atorvastatin for cholesterol slightly high. I eat out often, and eat Amy's frozen foods at home a lot. Cereal and frozen waffles are my breakfast staples... Working on it...


herculesmeowlligan

That's great about your bloodwork! I am by no means a health or diet expert. Just was a suggestion. I'm sure at 72 you know a lot more about your body and what makes you happy than anyone else, so you do you for sure.


cozzy000

Atleast you are honest with yourself, if more people were like this the world would be a lot better


oddsonni

It's an ugly world, the lies would be fine if they didn't make things worse


PlasticElfEars

Maybe "the same" isn't really the word for it. Plenty of animals (even the fluffy higher order ones) will eat their own babies and whatnot.


TecTazz

Long pig.


mcgoran2005

I know it’s not what you intended but that made me remember the couple who put their baby in the microwave and cooked it. I need a break from the internet but I think I’ll swing by r/eyebleach first.


AHoleInMyLeftWing

Science works to build understanding. The hypothesis wasn't that animals DON'T have feelings, but to try to understand how those feelings work. Some responses are basic like pain. Almost all animals feel pain. Other emotions are more complicated, like empathy or guilt. Its quite possible that many emotions may be lacking in certain animals. Why would an animal that hunts alone need to evolve guilt, for instance. Science isnt all cutting edge. Sometimes we have to understand the basics we think we understand


ZarakaiDensetsu

Because people is stupid 🤪


[deleted]

Survival means strength in numbers. I think animals are aware of this so there may be a mutually beneficial reason that is being overlooked.


Pankiez

This would be the evolutionary advantage to developing empathy as a trait. It's easier to develope a brain that goes brrrr help fren rat than hmm with this additional rat in our population the increase breeding, protection in numbers and cooperation will improve my life. Hence why even when the rat saw they got absolutely nothing from the rescue they continued to do it. If it were just forward thinking, they'd stop after enough failed attempts of getting a return on their energy expended.


twieter

Completely agree with you, I feel like this is propably included in the actual article


RacketLuncher

>Survival means strength in numbers. I think animals are aware of this No they aren't aware of the reason why they feel safe with their kind. Just like most* humans aren't "aware" that love/friendship is a symptom to the same reason : strength in numbers. *Because without psychology / philosophy AKA self reflection we wouldn't have figured it out.


wyldstallyns111

That’s true for people, too, so that could be why empathy develops in the first place.


Guaben1993

that is the exact reason humans developed empathy as well?


ryumaruborike

You realize that emotions are evolved behavior just like everything else and evolved due to the advantages it gave, right? You're argument is one for the rat having empathy, not against.


CandGsmama

Great, now I have to stop eating rat meat


alexasux

Better than some humans


Eddie_shoes

I have found rat traps where rats/mice have eaten the one that has been caught.


Revolutionary_Song16

I just love this random dark comment in the middle of everything that no one is acknowledging haha


boxingdude

I’m thinking “one of these things is not like the others”!


BerBerBaBer

rats have individual personalities. maybe the one who got eaten was a dickhead....


pfc_johnny

I've had three pet rats for about 6 months now and it blows my mind how different they are from each other even coming from the same litter and breeder. One is like a puppy that comes when he's called and likes to cuddle or be held all the time, one is nervous and friendly, and the last one is generally pretty aloof and only really likes pets on his terms. They're all surprisingly intelligent, easy to litter train, and generally just super curious about everything, so it's a lot of fun to see what they get up to. Totally underrated pets.


BerBerBaBer

my friend worked in a pet supply store years ago and i used to hang out with the rats while she closed the store and they were pretty awesome.


Scavnger

I had 2 mice in my open top load dryer one time. One ate the others head open exposing its brain. Needless to say I shot the cannibal mouse in the head with a bb gun. Some things are just unforgivable, Jerry was a good mouse boy he didn't deserve that....


Whitethumbs

Murder 1 and a count of cannibalism. You judge jury and executioner them. I'm not sure where rat law stands on this. You may see yourself in tiny court. If I were you I'd say you feared for your life and the safety of others.


IndianaGeoff

We had a trial, but all the witnesses were rats and the jury would not convict.


Whitethumbs

Well that's the court system for you.


TheHollowJester

I mean... It's already dead, it's not like not eating it it's going to make any difference to it.


HunyadiArpad

Worse than some humans


cranberry94

One of my gerbils disemboweled the other.


[deleted]

I wonder if you put multiple rats in the cage, would they all deflect the responsibility and not let the contrained one out?


theundercoverpapist

"You know, Burke? I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamned percentage." - Ellen Ripley on LV-426.


alexasux

Do something corporal!


theundercoverpapist

He's dead. You're dogmeat, pal.


I-B-ME

I miss Bill Paxton


theundercoverpapist

Me too, kid. Me, too. A combination of Pvt. Hudson and Corporal Hicks played a major part in my formative years, back in the 80s. I always asked the barber for a "Hicks" haircut, and by 20 I achieved the rank of corporal in the Marine Corps. Sadly, I have yet to kill an alien, nuke a planet, or die screaming, "Oh, you want some of this!? Fuck you!!"


ScythianSteppe

So, there are good and bad humans and there are good and bad animals. Is it surprising to anyone?


Elephant-Patronus

That's what I was coming to say!


herbtarleksblazer

Yes, now it is official: rats have more empathy than some people.


thiccboihiker

[https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-mouse-utopias-1960s-led-grim-predictions-humans-180954423/](https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-mouse-utopias-1960s-led-grim-predictions-humans-180954423/) Debatable


alexasux

Interesting…


marless2

“The free rat would usually save at least one treat for the captive - which is a lot to expect for a rat.” A lot to expect for a rat, as opposed to what? People?


GoochMasterFlash

A lot to expect for an animal that we assume is primarily driven by selfish instinct and is focused on right now. As even humans are to an extent. Human children up to a certain age mostly are incapable of recognizing benefits from waiting and not eating treats, as has been shown through experiments where we say if you dont eat this now you can get more later. Kids almost always eat the one instead of waiting and getting more than one


Glass_Memories

If you're referring to the Marshmallow test, [the results were wildly misinterpreted.](https://youtu.be/YKzsI1QGXis) The test has been repeated many times since and with larger sample sizes they could better control for variables. Turns out most of the kids who ate the marshmallow without waiting either came from lower income households and had experienced food insecurity so they learned to take it when they could get it, or they didn't trust that the adults would hold up their end of the bargain, as was the case when the test was done in a primarily black country where the test administrators were white and white officials/diplomats had a history of not keeping promises and exploiting the native people. This was an experiment designed to test kid's willpower though, not their empathy, so it's a bit irrelevant. But the main thing we learned from it is 1) that willpower is not an inherent quality, but one that's learned and is influenced by their environment. All people fall to temptation just as easily, the ones who don't had circumstances or took actions that better allowed them to avoid the temptation in the first place, and 2) that willpower (or lack thereof) demonstrated as a child is not a predictor of future success or failure in life.


Neon1028

In my psychology class in collage we watched videos of kids doing the Marshmallow Test. My favorite was this one kid who, as soon as the adult left the room, went to work picking out and eating only the bottom center of the marshmallow until was just a hollow little cup. He then put it back on the table, opening down, and tried to pass it off like he never touched the marshmallow. I don't care what anyone says, that kid's going places. But I had never heard about all these problems with this test. I'll have to check out that video.


fearhs

Maybe the kid just wanted one marshmallow and knew they weren't hungry enough for two, and didn't want to be wasteful.


TedTheGreek_Atheos

People... What a bunch of bastards.


[deleted]

The sentence is as straightforward as it is in my opinion, I don’t think what you’re asking highlights any mistake.


cranberry94

I mean, if one of my dogs was trapped in a box, and there was a bowl of kibble between them… the other one would absolutely devour every last morsel before lifting a paw to attempt rescue.


bwaredapenguin

Well we call humans who betray or sell out others "rats," typically when the "rat" has something to gain. Clearly we don't naturally assume they have much of a moral or ethical high ground.


CornflakeofDoom

These are some of the reasons why I love rats. They’re such smart animals. Also, they’re very cute.


GregTheChief

True. I miss my pet rats.. they were super smart and cute.. but they get a lot of diseases


fivetenfiftyfold

Rodents in general are just super loving and sweet and will go out of their way to make their friends/siblings/cagemates happy and loved.


Dear_Alice_99

There's another species. A very smart one. They share food, love another, are very smart and if they see a different species in distress, (like an animal almost drowning) will try almost everything to save it. Know what it is? It's a human! Thanks for existing, whoever is reading this <3


Ph1llyth3gr8

So we experiment on creatures who have that complex of emotions?


Savings-Spirit-3702

We still experiment on dogs 😭 animal testing is just bollocks.


TypicalCringe

Still eat animals like that too


transitionerette

I don't know why we're so knowledge-thirsty that we inflict pain on animals just to prove they feel pain. That's the core of specism. Not giving a shit about other beings emotions.


Ph1llyth3gr8

I’m really disturbed. I thought we chose rats because they maybe were unique in how they dealt with emotions. I was dumb to think that.


3adLuck

I think we experiement on them because the opposite is true. The Harvard Hope Experiment showed us that rats are far from mindless: "During the 1950’s Dr. Curt Richter from Harvard University performed aseries of experiments using water, buckets, and both domesticated andwild rats which resulted in a surprising discovery within the field ofpsychology. In the first experiment, Richter placed his test subjectsinto large buckets half filled with water with even those rats whichwere considered above average swimmers, giving up and dying within a fewshort minutes. In the second experiment, Richter pulled each rat outjust as it was about to give up due to exhaustion and let them rest for afew moments. Upon inserting the rats back into the bucket of water,Richter found that the rats continued to struggle to survive for up to 60 hours as the rats now believed that if they continued to push forward they would be rescued again." These kind of experiments say a lot more about whats lacking in humans than what rats are capable of.


Plaidfu

Damn that actually made me recoil, that is fucked.


lIIIIllIIIIl

If anything rats show more emotion than most other domesticated pets I'd say. They really are like little people.


Shoopdawoop993

Yes, its that or humans. You signing up to see if this new pesticide is a carcinogen?


coldvault

Humans and non-human animals aren't the only options for scientific study. If you're not studying behavior or systemic effects of pesticides, many experiments are performed on [cells](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro) and [computer models](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_silico), actually.


Low_Importance_9503

Another post somewhere said that studies that don’t say they used rats or mice in the their titles get more clicks


HrmbeLives

This is true, but most editors on reputable journal will require the author to include it before approval (provided its relevant).


Professional_Sort336

So basically, the wealthiest humans are less worthy than lab rats. Can't say I'm surprised.


SameRule9918

This study brought to you by the scientists at NIMH Laboratories


randomguy2322

One rat to another: "We are family."


JBounce369

Dominic Toratto


kaiimee

I love rats


Namelessbob123

Altruism is evolutionarily beneficial


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Terminus-Rex

Skaven have entered the chat. Lies-deception!


SubjectDonut9

“I don’t really bash rats anymore, I drown them mostly so I don’t have to hear their screams”


A_Cat12886475

Rats are better than some people


aDeadlyDonut

Crazy that we have to perform bizarre experiments like this to find out whether animals care for each other. Should we test ourselves?


coffeenerd75

Now do the same experiment with crabs and tell me empathy knows no boundaries


alexanderyou

SLANDER! The pile will see you in hell, crustacean denier!


nullGnome

Empathy is never selfless. Being able to feel empathy is an evolutionary trait used for self-preservation.


dressclassy

“Empathy knows no boundaries.” Except in all the species that have never demonstrated the capacity for it.


Tacos-and-Wine

Not having read the study methodology I am curious if vicarious reinforcement was a confounding factor. But this is still an uplifting post to read


motolabjed

What the study didn’t disclose is that those rats came from the cocaine study across the hall and were just horny af.