A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggested that if you put a sad raven beside another raven, chances are that other raven will get sad as well.
Jessie Adriaense and colleagues, authors of the study, explained this phenomenon, known as emotional contagion:
“Emotional contagion, which refers to emotional state matching between individuals, is a powerful mechanism for information sharing and, as a consequence, an increased defense against predation and the facilitation of group living,”
The results of their multi-stage experiment on ravens not only reveal that ravens can experience emotional contagion, but also that negative emotions rub off more easily than positive emotions.
“Negative emotions may be easier to experimentally induce than positive emotions, and they may be more salient in their expression than positive emotions. Moreover, animals (as well as humans) attend more to negative than positive information in their environment.”
Read more about the sad raven experiment over at Vice.
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