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Pissed-Off Pigs Stay Positive in Pimped-Out Pens

Science By
Pissed Off Pigs Stay Positive in Pimped-Out Pens
(Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images)

 

According to new research, pigs react based on the mood they’re in just like us humans do.

Researchers from the University of Lincoln, Queen’s University Belfast, and University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom tested domestic pigs to figure out how their moods and personalities interacted in making judgment calls. A number of pigs were tested, with some being seen as “pessimistic” and others as “optimistic.” This was based on their living arrangements.

Then, according to Science magazine, the researchers set up a number of situations in which pigs could either be proactive or reactive, based on their environments.

For example, the researchers placed a bowl full of treats in one corner, as well as a bowl of bitter coffee beans in another. All of the pigs soon learned where the treat-filled one was.

But when the researchers switched up the situation—placing one bowl in the center—the pessimistic pigs in the poorer accommodations were shown to be less interested in checking out the bowl, whereas the pessimists in better accommodations were more outgoing, checking out what the “new” bowl had in store for them.

What does this all mean? The optimism or pessimism of a pig was largely determined by the conditions of their housing, which clearly affected their mood.

In short, the next time you walk into your brother’s house and declare him a slob, make sure you never call him a “pig” to his face. Because, really, at least somewhere, there’s such a thing as a pig in a crappy house that’s optimistic.

Read the full study in Biology Letters here.