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Is there a link between consciousness and emotional depth?

  1. Sep 28, 2016 #1
    Is there a connection between consciousness and emotions? Imagine humans are a class 5 conscious animal and have the most complex emotions. An elephant or a gorilla may be a class 4 conscious animal, a dog a class 3 etc.

    I would certainly think a gorilla possess a deeper consciousness than a fly... and therefore has greater emotions than a fly. After all there's a reason we swat a fly without any remorse whatsoever but hitting a deer on the road would bring more emotional stress than killing the fly. We value the life of the deer more than that of the fly.

    Does consciousness evolve and if so is it ever possible a gorilla can develop the consciousness and emotional depth humans have?

    When an animal is trapped and a human comes to save it, is there even a remote possibility that the animal understands that the human saved it or does it simply think you tried to kill it but it escaped?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2016 #2
    There is definitely a connection between consciousness and emotion in humans and is likely in "higher" mammals as well. As for animal psychology, I can't answer those questions. We can't communicate with other animals like we can with humans. Studies of other animals are based on criteria that are not reliablely comparable to human studies. The abstract linked below describes brain activity when we try to control our emotions.

    http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2001-11499-001 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
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