They have complex brains as well so I would think that if they have endorphins and nerves then they do. Although I can't say that every animal has that hard wiring. Plants however don't have the types of nerves we do and as far as I know they don't have endorphins.
I wasn't sure whether to put this under Psycology or Science.
I just remember that me and my teacher talked about this once after class.
From what I have come to beleive, it's all dependent on WHICH emotions.
Humans as a society have created this silly idea that animals can love. In my opinion, it is just we as a people projecting our own behavior onto other species to feed our desire for them to feel the way about us that we do them.
We as people, being creatures who have the uncanny abillity to study ourselves, constantly project our ideals onto others- not only other humans, but other species all together- because in ourselves we beleive that our way is the right way, and that our beleifs are absolute. we want to beleive that animals are capable of our level of thought and understanding.
I do beleive that some animal instincts can be classified as reminiscent to emotion.
An animal can feel fondness, I beleive. Their memories can serve them with good pictures of us, make them beleive that we are safe. Dogs, in themselves, often show pack like behavior and will protect a human as their pack member.
I think an animals feelings have finite range, though.
Animals feel the need solely to survive. They do not love. They do not cry.
But they can feel fear, and protectiveness.
This of course, is all just MY take on it. I want to hear what others think.
EDIT: Okay the next person to come up in here freaking out because they think I'm suggesting that animals don't deserve love and respect just because I don't think they have complex emotion is gonna throw me over the edge.
They feel pain, they feel fear, the feel hungry and thirsty and cold and uncomfortable. So no, they don't deserve terrible treatment. They do have feelings, maybe less complex than ours, but feelings. I care and have respect for all living creatures- right down to the very last bug (Which isn't to say I haven't accidentally stepped on one without realization.) Sooooo Just shut up, kay?
If it helps diffuse the situation I have many pets and they're doing just fine. In fact I love my pets like family. So back off. I'm not some terrible witch who goes around spitting on kittens and kicking puppies.
jellyfish might not love, but dogs certainly do, fish, im not sure about fish at all lol.
Even human emotion has a heavy instinctive component. Rage spurs us to assert dominance, kindness helps us strength bonds with others, shame nudges us away from things that might be detrimental to us or our group, etc. etc. Our emotions are just fancier because we run them through an especially complex brain, but I doubt they're all that different at root from those of other mammals.
Of course they do! Whenever someone in my house gets angry and yells, my 3 dogs run and hide. When one of them knows he did something bad, he runs away. When they're scared, they're shaking and you can see it in their eyes.
It most certainly would be on a continuum with some of the most complex emotions being unlikely in all but the most sentient animals and a basic mechanism existing in the lowest life forms. The basic form of emotion would be approach and avoidance mechanisms that even bacteria have. Emotions like fear or common throughout most of the animal kingdom-basically if it has a brain it can be scared. Love is an iffy one that I am not sure about its prevalence or if the animals that act like the love actually experience love. One emotion that it is doubtful how many animals actually feel would be guilt. It is one of the most complex emotions requiring a great deal of self awareness and social judgment.
Personally, I think so though it wouldn't be called emotion. Most likely they can feel pleasure, pain, remorse, and things like that but the way they deal with it could be perceived as emotion. But in the wild showing a weakness (or possible emotion) could make the animal more targeted as prey.3nodding
not only evidence, but PROOF that you are incorrect, OP, is all around. stare Animals do cry. there is PLENTY of footage for that. the way they interact with other, and with Humans and other Animals, clearly shows that the range of their emotions is just as wide as ours. it might take more effort for some, given the difference in relative distribution of Brain space between cognitive awareness and instinct. but they certainly are capable of it, and some species have a much easier or more common time of it than others.