Do You Talk to Your Pets? Science Says You're Smart, Not Crazy

Posted by Amber King
Girl playing with her dog in city park

Having a one-sided conversation with your pet may make you sound crazy, but science says you're actually pretty smart.

Any pet owner that says they don't talk to their furry friends is either not a very good owner or lying. You can't help but ask your dog what you should make for dinner or tell your cat about the most annoying person at work.

You know they won't respond and probably have no idea what you're talking about, but you're best buddies, and best buddies talk to each other. If anyone ever calls you out for having a conversation with your pet, you now have the best response.

Best friends: Young man sitting with his dog on a bench in the park

According to Nicholas Epley, a behavioral science professor at the University of Chicago, people who frequently talk to animals actually show signs of high intelligence. It's called anthropomorphizing, which is a big word that means the ability to give a human mind to something that isn't human. He told Quartz:

"Historically, anthropomorphizing has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it's actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet. No other species has this tendency."

When you come home from work and ask your Chihuahua how his day went, you're giving him a human mind and personality. He doesn't have one, but your ability to perceive a reality in which he does separates you from others lower on the IQ scale.

Talking to animals shows a desire for companionship and an instinctive ability to build character where there isn't any. If you refer to your old computer as a finicky old lady, you're doing the same thing.

Blond happy girl with her chihuahua doggy portrait lying on lawn

Kids are especially good at anthropomorphizing. They turn their stuffed animals into living beings and create best friends out of thin air. They eventually grow out of these imaginative habits, which is part of why it's usually associated with people of a lower intelligence.

But thanks to Epley, we now know the truth. If you're still talking to your pets and inanimate objects during adulthood, it means you're both smart and creative. Both of which are desirable traits, so good for you!

Do you talk to your pets? Let us know in the comments.

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Do You Talk to Your Pets? Science Says You're Smart, Not Crazy