What truly distinguishes us from our animal counterparts? And what do they have to teach us about ourselves? Norbert Sachser presents fascinating insights into the inner lives of animals, revealing what we now know about their thoughts, feelings, and behavior, using these questions as his starting point. Much Like Us takes us on a journey through the animal kingdom, explaining how dogs demonstrate empathy, why chimps wage war, and how crows and ravens craft tools to catch food. Sachser brings the science to life with examples and anecdotes from his own research, illuminating the tremendous advances in understanding made over the last 30 years. He eventually invites us to question our own assumptions; the closer we look, the more we see humanity in our fellow creatures.
A great video/podcast that covers the topic is linked here but it is in German. I have tried to summarize and translate it.
Professor Dr. Norbert Sachser, a renowned behavioral scientist, is featured in the video/podcast discussing the changes in the field of behavioral biology over the last few decades and how our understanding of animals has evolved. The discussion focuses on animal self-awareness, emotions, empathy, and stress, as well as the role of personal experiences and genes in their development. The video also discusses the importance of studying animals and humans in the same situations in order to better understand their behavior. The discussion delves into current research topics, such as animal emotion research and the differences between pessimists and optimists in the animal kingdom. The interview highlights how our understanding of animals’ cognitive abilities and emotional lives is changing our perceptions of them. Professor Sachser also discusses misinformation and the importance of accurately communicating scientific findings to the general public. It includes an interview with Professor Dr. Norbert Sachser about the evolution of behavioral biology and its implications for our understanding of animal behavior, emotions, and stress. They discuss how animal cognition research has challenged previous assumptions about animals’ mental abilities, as well as the parallels that can be drawn between animal and human emotions. They also emphasize the importance of taking both genetic and environmental factors into account when developing behavior and cognition. Finally, they discuss the importance of ongoing scientific research and communication to improve public understanding of these topics.
Link to his book for English readers
Link to his book for German readers