Animal behaviour: Cognitive bias and affective state

  title={Animal behaviour: Cognitive bias and affective state},
  author={E. Harding and E. Paul and M. Mendl},
  • E. Harding, E. Paul, M. Mendl
  • Published 2004
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Nature
  • Information processing by humans can be biased by their emotions — for example, anxious and depressed people tend to make negative judgements about events and to interpret ambiguous stimuli unfavourably. Here we show that such a 'pessimistic' response bias can also be measured in rats that are housed in unpredictable conditions. Our findings indicate that cognitive bias can be used as an indicator of affective state in animals, which should facilitate progress in animal-welfare studies. 

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