3.docx - Running head HUMAN\/ANIMAL INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS Human\/Animal Interpersonal Relations Name Instructor Course Date 1 HUMAN\/ANIMAL INTERPERSONAL

3.docx - Running head HUMAN/ANIMAL INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS...

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Running head: HUMAN/ANIMAL INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS 1 Human/Animal Interpersonal Relations Name Instructor Course Date
HUMAN/ANIMAL INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS 2 Human/Animal Interpersonal Relations In psychology, a human/animal relation refers to a dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship between human beings and animals which is partial to behaviors that are essential for the well-being and health of both. There are polarized outlooks in the Psychological literature regarding interpersonal relations between human beings and other animals. Some suggest that people use animal companions as social pariahs to displace other human relationships (Archel, 1997). Others argue that companion animals act as complements to human families and are of major social and psychological benefit (Serpell, 2009). Whichever the case, human/animal interpersonal relation or simply human-animal bond has been proven to be an exceptional and beneficial relationship between humans and animals to an extent of being used as a therapy for cognitive, emotional and social functioning of humans. This paper discusses the human/animal relations in terms of theoretical approach and its application in animal assisted therapy and animal assisted activities to help relieve various psychological, physiological and social conditions affecting human beings. Theoretical Approach to Human/Animal Interpersonal Relations The fundamental principle of Bowlby’s attachment theory is that one of the most basic needs a caregiver offers an infant is a secure attachment. Since its establishment in 1973, the attachment theory’s scope has been expanded to incorporate an array of central adult relations including those with animals (Beck and Katcher, 1996). As stated earlier, the attachment theory postulates that human relationships are based on how secure the attachment is. In this sense, various psychologists argue that human/animal relation is based on the principle that human- animal bonds possess the entire properties of psychological attachment such as the human responding appropriately and sensitively to the needs of a pet (Zilcha-Mano, Mikuliner and
HUMAN/ANIMAL INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS 3 Shaver, 2011; Back and Madresh, 2008). Psychologists have historically used the learning/behaviorist theory to explain psychological attachments. The behaviorist theory views attachment as a learned behavior (Beck and Katcher, 1996). When it comes to human-animal relations, animals get attached to humans that feed them. Research also shows that animals, particularly dogs, get attached to humans who often engage them in physical activities such as walking. The biophilla hypothesis has also been used to explain the relationship between animals and humans. Developed in 1984 by Edward Wilson, the biophilla hypothesis postulates that there exist an instinctive bond between people and other living things, especially other animals (Fine, 2000). In relation to this concept, research shows that dogs trigger some sort of biological reaction in human beings particularly when the dogs gaze into the owner’s eyes. The gazing

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