The Startup
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The Startup

Puppy Dog Eyes for the Smartphone Generation

A new study has found that dogs make ‘puppy dog eyes’ in an attempt to communicate with humans. It is a learned behavior, resulting from over 30,000 years of cohabitation with people.

Cute, but so what?

Well, another study found that the domestic dog was significantly outperformed by its canine brethren, the wolf and the dingo, in spatial awareness tests.


That’s still really cute, but what’s the point?

The real message within all of these studies is that the abdication of self-dependence has implications for intelligence.


We are what we repeatedly do (or don’t do)

As the experiments on domestic dogs revealed, through social conditioning they have lost aspects of their problem-solving abilities.

Is that a wholly negative thing?

Not necessarily. Of course, we are the beneficiaries of many technological developments, leading to longer lives and easy access to a range of useful services.

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Clark Boyd

Tech/business writer, lecturer (Columbia), and data analyst. >500k views on Medium. I used to be with it, but then they changed what ‘it’ was.