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Personalities of Self-Identified “Dog People” and “Cat People”

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Abstract

Alleged personality differences between individuals who self-identify as “dog people” and “cat people” have long been the topic of wide-spread speculation and sporadic research. Yet existing studies offer a rather conflicting picture of what personality differences, if any, exist between the two types of person. Here we build on previous research to examine differences in the Big Five personality dimensions between dog people and cat people. Using a publicly accessible website, 4,565 participants completed the Big Five Inventory and self-identified as a dog person, cat person, both, or neither. Results suggest that dog people are higher on Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, but lower on Neuroticism and Openness than are cat people. These differences remain significant even when controlling for sex differences in pet-ownership rates. Discussion focuses on the possible sources of personality differences between dog people and cat people and identifies key questions for future research.
Personalities of Self-Identified
Dog Peopleand Cat People
Samuel D. Gosling
*
, Carson J. Sandy
*
and Jeff Potter
*
Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, USA
Atof, Inc, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
ABSTRACT
Alleged personality differences between individuals who self-
identify as “dog people” and “cat people” have long been the topic of wide-
spread speculation and sporadic research. Yet existing studies offer a rather
conflicting picture of what personality differences, if any, exist between the
two types of person. Here we build on previous research to examine differ-
ences in the Big Five personality dimensions between dog people and cat
people. Using a publicly accessible website, 4,565 participants completed
the Big Five Inventory and self-identified as a dog person, cat person, both,
or neither. Results suggest that dog people are higher on Extraversion, Agree-
ableness, and Conscientiousness, but lower on Neuroticism and Openness
than are cat people. These differences remain significant even when control-
ling for sex differences in pet-ownership rates. Discussion focuses on the pos-
sible sources of personality differences between dog people and cat people
and identifies key questions for future research.
Keywords: Big Five, cat people, dog people, personality, pet ownership
traits
“Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get
back to you later.” (Bly 1998). Like many of the jokes about
dogs and cats, this one focuses on the different ways each
kind of pet is supposed to interact with its owner. Consistent with the
idea that dogs and cats may suit different kinds of human personalities,
many pet owners intuitively label themselves as either a “dog person” or
a “cat person” (Woodward and Bauer 2007). Indeed, there is a widely
held cultural belief that the pet species—dog or cat—with which a
person has the strongest affinity says something about that individual’s
personality. Even individuals who do not own and perhaps have no
intention of owning a pet can identify themselves as a dog or a cat per-
son. Beliefs about the two kinds of people permeate many domains of
social interaction (e.g., the kinds of questions a person might ask a
potential dating partner or potential housemate) and numerous forms
of popular culture (e.g., as the topic of jokes and blog posts).
213 Anthrozoös DOI: 10.2752/175303710X12750451258850
ANTHROZOÖS VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 REPRINTS AVAILABLE PHOTOCOPYING © ISAZ 2010
PP. 213–222 DIRECTLY FROM PERMITTED PRINTED IN THE UK
THE PUBLISHERS BY LICENSE ONLY
Address for correspondence:
Sam Gosling,
Department of Psychology,
University of Texas,
1 University Station,
Austin, TX 78712, USA.
E-mail:
samg@mail.utexas.edu
It is likely that the beliefs about people who self-identify as dog people and cat people are
driven, at least in part, by real and perceived differences between the two species. Dogs and
cats display different species-typical behaviors, their ancestors occupied different ecological
niches, they have different physical (and possibly psychological) needs, and they express dif-
ferent personality traits (Gosling and Bonnenburg 1998). Given the tight psychological con-
nections between people and their pets, it is likely that dogs and cats may be suited to different
human personalities.
What it is that “dog person” and “cat person” is said to denote varies considerably from
source to source. One source characterized “the canine person” as loyal, direct, kind, faith-
ful, utilitarian, helpful, and a team player and “the feline person” as graceful, subtle, inde-
pendent, intelligent, thoughtful, and mysterious (Long 2006). Another source suggested the
labels do little more than offer a different way of saying masculine and feminine (Wade and
Sharp 2009).
Despite the abundance of opinions on the matter, there has been a paucity of scien-
tific research designed to identify the characteristics of “dog people” and “cat people” or
even to support the claim that any personality differences exist between the two groups.
One of the few studies to address the topic directly (Edelson and Lester 1983) found
that among males but not females, extraversion predicted a preference for dogs rather
than cats. Another study found that masculinity and independence predicted a prefer-
ence for dogs but that dominance and athleticism did not predict a preference for either
dogs or cats (Perrine and Osbourne 1998). Yet another study found that participants
who were less hostile and less submissive reported that dogs were their ideal pet over
cats (Woodward and Bauer 2007). Kidd and Kidd (1980) found that elevated dominance
scores predicted a preference for dogs and pet-lovers (in males) and low dominance
scores predicted a preference for cats. Participants that were rated as more nurturing
tended to be female pet-lovers, while those low on nurturing tended to prefer cats. In
contrast to the Woodward and Bauer study, Kidd and Kidd (1980) found that aggres-
siveness in males predicted a preference for dogs while low aggressiveness predicted fe-
male preference for dogs or cats. Autonomy was found to be a predictor of a cat-lover
(males only).
Contrary to these findings, several studies failed to find differences between dog people
and cat people (Podberscek and Gosling 2000). Johnson and Rule (1991) did not find any
differences in extraversion, neuroticism, general self-esteem, and social self-esteem. In ad-
dition, no differences were found in studies of self-acceptance (Martinez and Kidd 1980),
masculinity, femininity, independence, athleticism, and dominance (Perrine and Osborne
1998). Another study found that cat people were more neurotic than dog people but found
no differences for extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness (Gosling
and Bonnenburg 1998).
Together these studies offer a somewhat inconsistent picture of the personality differ-
ences between individuals who claim to be dog people and cat people. Even when differ-
ences are found they appear to differ across studies. For example, Kidd and Kidd (1980)
found that male dog lovers were aggressive but Woodward and Bauer (2007) found that par-
ticipants whose ideal pet was a dog were significantly less hostile than those whose ideal
pet was a cat. Overall then, while provocative, the literature paints a confusing portrait of the
personality differences that might exist between those who identify themselves as dog peo-
ple and cat people.
214 Anthrozoös
Personalities of Self-Identified “Dog People” and “Cat People”
Eight features of the research literature may contribute to the inconclusiveness of past find-
ings. More worrisome, these features also hinder future progress on the question. Below, we
describe these potentially problematic features.
First, as clearly demonstrated by the literature review, the studies use a broad range of
concepts and scales, making it almost impossible to compare the findings across studies or
to compare them with those emerging from other literatures. For example, the studies to date
have measured differences using, among others, the Eysenks Personality Inventory (Edelson
and Lester 1983), the Edwards Personal Preference test (Kidd and Kidd 1980), the Impact
Message Inventory-Generalized Others (Woodward and Bauer 2007), the Lexington Attach-
ment to Pets Scale, the California Psychological Inventory (Bagley and Gonsman 2005), as well
as somewhat idiosyncratic selections of other traits (e.g., Perrine and Osbourne 1998).
Second, the traits examined are not systematically chosen to represent the breadth of the
personality spectrum. For example, one study looked only at extraversion (Edelson and Lester
1983), while another examined individual traits, such as masculinity, femininity, independence,
and athleticism (Perrine and Osbourne 1998). Without using a systematic framework that is
specifically designed to capture traits from the full spectrum of domains in which personality
is expressed, it is quite possible that studies will neglect traits of particular relevance to the
areas that distinguish dog people from cat people.
Third, without a unifying framework in which to place the traits, it is not clear where there
is conceptual overlap among the traits. For example, to what extent should hostility and ag-
gression be considered similar constructs? How are autonomy and submissiveness related?
Ideally, a system would be used in which the traits measured have already been extensively
studied so that the possible links among them are clear.
Fourth, the past research is based on a wide variety of instruments that vary in the extent
to which they employed rigorous test-development and validation procedures. For example,
whereas the Eysenck Personality Inventory and the California Psychological Inventory are the
products of decades of rigorous psychometric evaluation, instruments like the Lexington At-
tachment to Pets Scale have a less established empirical base. Ideally, the instrument used
to measure personality will have been subjected to extensive psychometric evaluation.
The first four problematic features of past research have a common solution—the use of
an extensively researched personality framework that is used widely and has solid psycho-
metric credentials. The personality system that best fits these criteria is the Big Five model
(e.g., Goldberg 1992; John and Srivastava 1999; McCrae and Costa 1999). The Big Five
model is made up of five relatively independent and very broad dimensions specifically de-
signed to capture the breadth of the domains in which personality is typically expressed. The
five dimensions, each of which consists of sub-facets, are known as, Extraversion, Agree-
ableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness. Over the past three decades, the
Big Five have been subject to an enormous amount of research, ranging from studies of their
genetic, neurological, and developmental roots to studies examining their impact on work, re-
lationships, and health (Ozer and Benet-Martinez 2006; Roberts et al. 2007). Moreover, sev-
eral instruments to measure the Big Five dimensions have been developed and validated.
The fifth problem with past research is that the samples studied have not been very diverse.
For example, Gosling and Bonnenburg’s (1998) study of pet owners was based on a sample
that was overwhelmingly female; such sampling issues are particularly problematic in domains
like the current one where sex differences have proven to be or are thought to be important.
Other studies were based on samples that were overwhelmingly highly educated (i.e., college
215 Anthrozoös
Gosling et al.
students). Several of the studies focused on one particularly narrow population—pet owners
who were willing to or enthusiastic about completing questionnaires about their pets (e.g., pet
owners returning questionnaire packets [Johnson and Rule 1991] and pet owners recruited
in veterinary offices [Kidd and Kidd 1980]). It is quite likely that these participants were unusually
knowledgeable about pets and particularly favorably inclined towards them, both of which
could bias the findings for a topic that is meant to apply to a population that extends well be-
yond pet owners and enthusiasts. Thus, for the findings to be generalized to the broader pop-
ulation, a relatively diverse sampling strategy is needed.
Sixth, some of the previous studies have used samples that are quite small, raising the pos-
sibility that they did not have sufficient power to detect small differences between dog people
and cat people. In particular, the studies to date have a median sample size of only 163. A large
sample is needed to reliably detect the personality differences between dog and cat people,
which could be quite subtle.
The fifth and sixth problematic features of past research have a common solution—the use
of an Internet survey that is not targeted specifically to pet owners. For many years Internet
samples were thought to be subject to a number of drawbacks that made them unsuitable
for research. However, extensive empirical comparisons between Internet-based and tradi-
tional forms of data collection have shown that Internet samples are relatively diverse with re-
spect to gender, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and age, that Internet-based
findings generalize across presentation formats, are not adversely affected by nonserious or
repeat responders, and are consistent with findings from traditional methods (Gosling et al.
2004). Moreover, Internet samples can be used to collect samples that are much larger than
samples that can be readily collected using traditional methods (Gosling and Bonnenburg
1998; Gosling et al. 2004).
The seventh problem with past research is that the studies have not always classified par-
ticipants using people who self-identify as a “dog person” or a “cat person.” For example,
some studies have asked people to name their ideal pet or have simply used pet ownership
as a proxy for “dog person” or “cat person(e.g., Russel 1956; Edelson and Lester 1983;
Gosling and Bonnenburg 1998; Bagley and Gonsman 2005); it is quite possible that such
methods do not capture what is widely meant by a “dog personor a “cat person.” A person
could consider himself a dog person but might still own a cat or not own any pet for other rea-
sons (e.g., due to condominium rules about pet ownership).
The eighth problem with some past research is that it did not give respondents the op-
portunity to self-identify as both a “dog person and a cat person” or as “neither.” For exam-
ple, in one study (Kidd and Kidd 1980), participants had to choose between “dog-lover,”
“cat-lover,” or “pet-lover.” By forcing participants into one of two or three categories, any true
differences between “dog people” and “cat people” could be diluted or biased by the inclu-
sion of individuals who do not genuinely belong in either category.
The solution to the seventh and eighth problems is to assess participants by asking them
to self-identify as a “dog person” or a “cat person” and by giving them opportunities to filter
themselves out of the sample by including options of “both” and “neither,” too.
Thus, the current study sought to build on previous research by making a number of design
improvements. Specifically, to ensure the findings were comparable with other research and
sampled broadly from the spectrum of personality traits, we used the Big Five framework. To
make sure the traits were defined in ways that they are widely understood and that they were
measured appropriately, we assessed personality with a widely used and well-validated
216 Anthrozoös
Personalities of Self-Identified “Dog People” and “Cat People”
instrument. To ensure the sample was reasonably diverse and did not over-represent groups
with a particular interest in dogs or cats, we collected data using the Internet and used a sur-
vey that was framed as a broad test of personality, not as a test of dog people and cat peo-
ple. To ensure that we were able to detect even subtle effects, we collected a large sample
size. To ensure that we collected data on what is widely meant by dog people and cat peo-
ple, we specifically used the categories “dog people” and “cat people” (instead of using pet
ownership as a proxy for these groups). To ensure that we did not dilute the effects by in-
cluding people who considered themselves both dog and cat people or as neither, participants
had the opportunity to indicate “both” and “neither.”
Methods
Participants and Procedure
Participants were 4,565 volunteers who provided personality and demographic information
over the World Wide Web, as part of the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project (see
Srivastava et al. 2003). Participants’ age ranged from 10 to 95 years with a mean age of 23.4
years (SD = 9.7), and 63.3% were female. The sample was diverse in terms of nationality and
ethnicity. Regarding nationality, 66.7% were residents of the United States, 5.1% were resi-
dents of Canada, 3.5% were residents of the United Kingdom, 2.4% were residents of
Australia, 1.6% were residents of India, 1.6% were residents of the Philippines, 11.1% were
residents of other countries, and 8% did not specify. Regarding ethnicity, 63.9% were
White/Caucasian, 7.7% were Black/African American, 4.9% were Latino, 4.1% were
Indian/Pakistani, 3.6% were Chinese, 3.1% were Filipino, 11.8% were of other ethnicities, and
0.9% did not specify.
Participants were part of the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project and were re-
cruited with the use of a noncommercial, advertisement-free website through one of several
channels: (1) major search engines (in response to keywords such as “personality tests”), (2)
portal sites, such as Yahoo! (under directories of personality tests), (3) voluntary mailing lists
that participants had previously joined, and (4) “word-of-mouth” from other visitors. Upon
arrival at the website, participants opted to take a personality test. They completed the 44-
item Big Five Inventory. The question about being a dog person or cat person was available
from April 19 to 24, 2009. Only those participants who responded to that question are
included in the current analyses.
Measures
Index of Dog Person and Cat Person: To measure whether people self-identified as a dog or
cat person, participants were given a single-item measure with which they indicated whether
they saw themselves as a cat person, a dog person, both, or neither.
Personality Measure: The Big Five personality traits were measured with the self-report version
of the 44-item Big Five Inventory (BFI; John, Naumann and Soto 2008). The BFI was derived
from the “Big Fivemodel of personality, which provides a useful organizing framework for
classifying and measuring distinct personality dimensions (John, Naumann and Soto 2008).
Scale means, standard deviations, reliabilities, and intercorrelations were consistent with those
typically obtained in laboratory studies (e.g., John, Donahue and Kentle1991). Reliability was
acceptable for all five factors: Extraversion (
! = 0.85), Agreeableness (! = 0.79), Conscien-
tiousness (
! = 0.82), Neuroticism (! = 0.82), and Openness (! = 0.77).
217 Anthrozoös
Gosling et al.
Results
Of the 4,565 people who reported what type of pet person they were, 2,088 (45.7%, 1,223
female, 865 male) reported being a dog person, 527 (11.5%, 359 female, 168 male) reported
being a cat person, 1,264 (27.7%, 874 female, 390 male) indicated they were both a dog and
cat person, and 686 (15%, 433 female, 253 male) reported to be neither a dog nor a cat per-
son. These frequencies stand out from previous studies because participants were given the
option to choose “both” or “neither.” These analyses show that when given free choice, only
about half of the participants (57.3%) self identify as a dog or cat person.
A one-way ANOVA revealed significant differences among type of pet person for all Big Five
dimensions: Extraversion (F
(1, 3)
= 30.69, p < 0.001), Agreeableness (F
(1, 3)
= 17.46, p < 0.001),
Conscientiousness (F
(1, 3)
= 12.95, p < 0.001), Neuroticism (F
(1, 3)
= 12.44, p < 0.001), Open-
ness (F
(1, 3)
= 35.3, p < 0.001). Planned comparisons (see Figure 1) revealed significant differ-
ences between dog people and cat people for all five of the Big Five dimensions (for
comparison purposes, the means for people responding “both” and “neitherare also shown).
Effect sizes were calculated using Cohen’s d. Dog people scored significantly higher on
Extraversion (t
(–8.09)
= –0.33, p < 0.001, d = 0.40); Agreeableness (t
(–6.76)
= –0.21, p < 0.001, d
= 0.33); and Conscientiousness (t
(–5.64)
= –0.19, p < 0.001, d = 0.27); and significantly lower
on Neuroticism (t
(6.07)
= 0.23, p < 0.001, d = 0.30); and Openness (t
(5.54)
= 0.17, p < 0.001,
d = 0.27) than did cat people.
218 Anthrozoös
Personalities of Self-Identified “Dog People” and “Cat People”
!
3.8
3.6
3.4
3.2
3.0
2.8
Extraversion
Cat Person
Dog Person
Neither
Both
Mean Personality Score
Agreeableness Conscientiousness Neuroticism Openess
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Figure 1. Big Five personality profiles of people who self-identify as dog persons and
cat persons. Values for trait means are given on the y-axis. Note: All differences are
significant (p < 0.01).
There are a number of known personality differences between men and women (e.g.,
Schmitt et al. 2008). To make sure the current findings were not driven by different rates of dog
and cat ownership among men and women, we ran the analyses controlling for sex and we
also ran the analyses separately within each sex. As shown in Figures 2a and 2b, the patterns
remain the same when analyzed separately for men and women and the differences remained
statistically significant in all cases, too. Consistent with these findings, General Linear Model
analyses showed that adding sex as a covariate did not eliminate the personality differences
between dog and cat people.
219 Anthrozoös
Gosling et al.
Figure 2. Big Five personality profiles of people who self-identify as dog persons and
cat persons. Values for trait means are given on the y-axis. Figure 2a represents male
participants (n = 1,582). Figure 2b represents female participants (n = 1,033). Note: All
differences are significant (p < 0.01).
!
4.0
3.8
3.6
3.4
3.2
3.0
2.8
2.6
Extraversion
Cat Person
Dog Person
Mean Personality Score
Agreeableness Conscientiousness Neuroticism Openess
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
a) Male Participants
!
4.0
3.8
3.6
3.4
3.2
3.0
2.8
2.6
Extraversion
Cat Person
Dog Person
Mean Personality Score
Agreeableness Conscientiousness Neuroticism Openess
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
b) Female Participants
Discussion
The present research suggests that, consistent with widely held views, there are significant dif-
ferences on all Big Five dimensions between dog people and cat people. Somewhat consis-
tent with previous findings, dog people were found to be more extraverted (Edelson and Lester
1983) and less neurotic (Gosling and Bonnenburg 1998) than cat people. In addition, dog
people were higher on Conscientiousness and Agreeableness and lower on Openness than
were cat people. By addressing the limitations of previous research, we were able to identify
significant differences that have sporadically emerged in previous studies between individuals
who self identify with each of these two pet species.
All five dimensions have a pole that is more socially desirable than the other, so such pat-
terns raise the possibility that the findings are simply an artifact of one group rating itself more
positively than the other group. However, it is unlikely that such social desirability effects can ex-
plain the present findings because dog people did not rate themselves more favorably than did
cat people across the board; specifically, dog people rated themselves lower than cat people
did on openness. Accordingly, we believe the current findings provide a robust estimate of the
mean personality differences between people who self-identify as dog people and cat people.
Limitations and Future Directions
Much of the previous research conducted on the personality of pet ownership and pet pref-
erences has been subject to selection bias (e.g., pet owners returning questionnaire packets
[Johnson and Rule 1991] and pet owners recruited in veterinary offices [Kidd and Kidd 1980]).
It is unlikely that the sample in the current study is subject to the same selection bias because
the survey was not promoted as focusing on pet ownership or pet preference. Instead, the
pet person question was added to a long-running website that provides participants with
feedback on their personalities. Moreover, the pet person question was placed at the end of
the questionnaire, making it unlikely that knowledge of the question interfered with the re-
sponses to the personality items. Nonetheless, to ensure the sample examined here was not
anomalous, we compared the personality scores of the participants in this sample with the
scores of participants taking the survey the following week. Instead of the pet person ques-
tion, this sample was asked a question on an entirely unrelated topic (online social network
usage). The comparison sample was collected from April 21 until April 25, 2009 (n = 5,395).
Ages ranged from 10 to 94. There were 1,857 males (34.4%) and 3,538 females (65.6%). A
one-way ANOVA revealed no significant differences for Extraversion (F
(1, 1)
= 0.08, p = 0.78),
Agreeableness (F
(1, 1)
= 0.50, p = 0.48), Conscientiousness (F
(1, 1)
= 1.45, p = 0.23), or Neu-
roticism (F
(1, 1)
= 0.46, p = 0.50). There was a significant difference found for Openness (F
(1, 1)
= 4.44, p = 0.04), but the effect size (d = 0.04) was dwarfed by the pet-person effect size for
that trait (d = 0.26). These data suggest that the two samples are comparable and that our
present findings cannot be explained by an unusual selection bias.
The goal of the current study was to identify any differences between the personalities of
individuals who self-identify as dog persons or cat persons. Having documented the exis-
tence of such differences, future research should examine the factors that could contribute to
a person self-identifying with one pet species rather than the other. The specific relationships
between people and their pets (real, hypothetical, or from the past) may provide insights into
how people assess themselves and identify as a certain type of pet person. For example,
childhood experiences with pets may shape adult personality (Podberscek and Gosling 2000)
and also influence peoples response to whether they call themselves a dog person or a cat
person (Perrine and Osbourne 1998). Attachment styles are another potential factor influenc-
ing pet preference (e.g., Endenburg 1995; Bagley and Gonsman 2005).
Another interesting line of future research would be to apply this methodology to a larger
variety of animal species and to specific breeds of dog and cat (e.g., Katz et al. 1994; Coren
1998). Previous research on owners of other pet species (ferret, rabbit, horse, hedgehog)
provides preliminary evidence to suggest the personalities of owners of these species may
220 Anthrozoös
Personalities of Self-Identified “Dog People” and “Cat People”
differ from cat and dog owners (Gosling and Bonnenburg 1998); the samples were too small
to draw firm conclusions about such differences, but they do suggest that it may be worth-
while extending the question beyond the domain of dogs and cats.
Self-identification as a certain type of pet person may also provide relevant and practical
information for areas such as pet selection within animal shelters, pet welfare, and other
human–animal relationships. Pet person identifications could also be useful in healthcare set-
tings (e.g., hospitals, mental healthcare facilities, nursing homes), where an affinity for certain
types of animals may affect the selection of species used in pet therapy.
More broadly, our research suggests that there is some truth to the widely held view that,
in general, the personalities of dog people differ from those of cat people. Moreover, our find-
ings provide an initial outline of the specific ways dog and cat people differ. Compared to cat
people, dog people tend to be more extraverted, agreeable, and conscientious, and less
neurotic and open.
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222 Anthrozoös
Personalities of Self-Identified “Dog People” and “Cat People”
... Past work on personality traits has also demonstrated that conservatives score higher on Conscientiousness and lower on Openness to Experience, compared to liberals (Carney et al., 2008). This maps directly on the finding that self-reported "dog people" also score higher on Conscientiousness and lower on Openness to Experience, compared to "cat people" (Gosling et al., 2015). Further, relative to cat people, dog people tend to score higher on Extraversion and Agreeableness, and lower on Neuroticism (Gosling et al., 2015). ...
... This maps directly on the finding that self-reported "dog people" also score higher on Conscientiousness and lower on Openness to Experience, compared to "cat people" (Gosling et al., 2015). Further, relative to cat people, dog people tend to score higher on Extraversion and Agreeableness, and lower on Neuroticism (Gosling et al., 2015). That said, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism are not strong predictors of political identity and are thus less relevant for our question (Carney et al., 2008). ...
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Liberals and conservatives are perceived to disagree on most aspects of life, even seemingly trivial things like pet choice. Although the question of whether liberals and conservatives differ in their liking for cats and dogs has been sporadically investigated, few peer-reviewed reports exist, results are mixed, and most reports examine this topic indirectly. In this registered report we employed a large existing dataset to examine whether political identity predicts liking of cats and dogs, and a preference for one over the other. Self-reported political identity was used to predict explicit evaluations of both pets, in addition to performance on an Implicit Association Test (IAT) measuring pet preference. Greater conservativism predicted more negative evaluations of cats and an overall preference for dogs over cats, even after controlling for relevant demographics.
... The studies of Gosling et al. (2010) and Reevy & Delgado (2015) evaluated the personality of pets owners. For them, there are some differences in the personality traits of people who prefer dogs or cats. ...
... studies point conscientiousness as one of the central features of pets owners' personality(Gosling et al., 2010;McConnell et al., 2011).McConnell et al. (2011) investigated personality factors among people who owned pets and others who did not and found positive correlations between measures of well-being (such as self-esteem and subjective happiness) and personality factors, especially conscientiousness. When analyzing the differences between the two groups, pet owners scored higher on conscientiousness but did not show significant differences in well-being measures. ...
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The study compares personality factors, symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress between owners and non-pet owners. A total of 145 adults participated, between 18 and 78 years (M = 30.96, SD = 12.10). Participants were divided according to the type of pet they had: 1) dogs, 2) cats, 3) dogs and cats. The results suggest that people who do not have pets showed more anxiety symptoms than those who have pets. Dogs and cats owners showed higher scores of conscientiousness personality factor than participants who did not have any pets. The results reveal differences between animals owners and non-owners. There is a need for studies using mediating variables analyzes, as well as longitudinal research that can explore the feasible causal relationship between different characteristics of people who own pets and well-being.
... Differences reported for personality traits of dog and cat owners include dog people generally being more extroverted, agreeable, and less neurotic than those who identify as cat people [43]. People who chose dogs scored higher on conscientiousness and agreeableness and lower on openness, highlighting differences in those making a choice for cat or dog ownership and human personality. ...
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Long-term HIV/AIDS survivors responded online concerning their experiences during the AIDS and COVID pandemics. Recruited from web-based organizations for AIDS survivors, 147 answered questions on: frequency of experiencing stigma, isolation, aloneness, or grief/sadness; pet ownership; and sources of human support during each pandemic. Conditional inference trees were run to identify relevant demographic factors. Post-hoc comparisons were conducted to compare dog owners and cat owners. AIDS survivors reported more frequent feelings of stigma, aloneness, and sadness/grief during the AIDS pandemic than during COVID. Cat owners’ sadness/grief during AIDS was greater than non-owners. During COVID, older respondents unexpectedly were less often sad/grieving than younger ones; dog owners less often felt alone and isolated than non-dog owners. Support during the AIDS pandemic retrospectively was rated better for older respondents; young gays’ support was greater than young straights. During COVID, support was better for men than women. Contrastingly, women with pets felt less support than those without; men with dogs felt more support than those without. Cat owners more often felt isolated and unsupported during COVID than dog owners. Few dog or cat owners received support from family members in either pandemic; during AIDS, family support was better for owners of dogs than cats.
... However, volunteers who worked with dogs regularly were more talkative when walking shelter dogs. A possible explanation may be that these people were more dog oriented, being more extraverted, socially bold and talkative (77,78). Finally, volunteers with a child or children at home were more likely to interact with dogs using body language, including hand gestures and physical contact, potentially because these volunteers were more sensitive to the needs of dogs, as if they were their children (73,79). ...
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Different people relate to dogs in different ways. We investigated differences between volunteers in their behavioural interactions with shelter dogs when they were walked on a leash. Cameras were used to record and quantify the behaviour of volunteers and a leash tension metre was used to measure pulling by both volunteers and shelter dogs. Effects of volunteers' age, body height, educational level, marital status, and experiences of living and working with dogs, and living with children, were examined. Older volunteers talked to the dogs more often during the walk than younger ones. Taller volunteers had reduced physical contact with dogs, and dogs pulled more frequently on the leash while walking with them. Volunteers with a postgraduate degree more frequently praised dogs and rewarded dogs with food and used more body language in the form of hand gestures and physical contact. Married and partnered volunteers more often praised dogs, while separated/divorced or widowed volunteers initiated more frequent physical contacts. Dogs pulled less when walking with volunteers who had experience of living with dogs, and these volunteers interacted with dogs using fewer verbal and body languages. Finally, those living with children more frequently communicated with dogs using body language (e.g., hand gestures and physical contact). We conclude that shelters should carefully consider volunteers' demographics when selecting them to walk dogs with various behavioural characteristics.
... A possible reason for this finding is that personality differences between dog and cat guardians influenced their experiences of the pandemic. Previous research has shown that self-identified 'dog people' tend to be more extraverted than 'cat people' [60]. While extraversion is usually associated with less loneliness and greater well-being, these protective effects may have been lost in the context of the pandemic due to restrictions on social interaction [61]. ...
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To reduce the spread of COVID-19, countries worldwide placed limitations on social interaction, which is anticipated to have severe psychological consequences. Although findings are inconsistent, prior research has suggested that companion animals may positively influence human well-being and reduce loneliness. In the context of COVID-19, this has important implications, as companion animal guardians may be less negatively affected by the pandemic. The primary aim of this research was to investigate the influence of companion animals on mental well-being and loneliness during the pandemic, with specific interest in the role of ornamental fishes. A mixed-methods study was conducted, using an international sample. Quantitative data were collected via an online survey (n = 1199) and analysed using robust hierarchical multiple regression analyses; the influence of level of engagement with companion animals was examined for dogs, cats and ornamental fishes. There was no evidence that companion animal guardianship was associated with loneliness and mental well-being during the pandemic but spending more time engaging physically or socially with dogs (and to a lesser extent cats) was generally associated with poorer outcomes. Qualitative data were collected through open-ended survey responses (n = 757) and semi-structured interviews (n = 25) and analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Two themes were developed—one related to companion animals as providers of social and emotional support, and the other to companion animals as providers of purpose and perspective. Concerns regarding the impact of the pandemic on animal welfare were also identified. Compared to other animal types, more participants expressed indifference regarding the impact of their fishes on their well-being during the pandemic, possibly because fishes cannot provide comfort via physical touch. The findings of this study reflect the wider field of human–animal interaction; although qualitative data suggest guardians believe their companion animals are a positive influence in their lives, there is little convincing quantitative data to support these beliefs. This highlights the need to refine theories regarding which aspects of companion animal guardianship may influence human well-being; the findings from this research may be useful in the refinement of such theories.
... En cuanto a sus características sociales y psicológicas al Dog-lover se le considera como una persona leal, directo, amable, fiel, utilitario, servicial, y un buen jugador de equipo (Gosling, Carson, & Potter, 2010) Para finalizar este primer acercamiento, una pieza clave de este fenómeno de consumo que, si bien fomenta la adquisición de bienes y servicios, por una parte, por la otra realiza un aporte humano importante a la sociedad, ya que; dicha sociedad cada vez en mayor medida le brinda su mascota un respeto como especie. ...
Thesis
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La presente investigación aborda uno de los temas tendencia del momento: los Dog-lovers y la introspección al estudio de algunos de sus comportamiento como consumidores.
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Humans’ individual differences including their demographics, personality, attitudes and experiences are often associated with important outcomes for the animals they interact with. This is pertinent to companion animals such as cats and dogs, given their social and emotional importance to humans and degree of integration into human society. However, the mechanistic underpinnings and causal relationships that characterise links between human individual differences and companion animal behaviour and wellbeing are not well understood. In this exploratory investigation, we firstly quantified the underlying structure of, and variation in, human’s styles of behaviour during typical human-cat interactions (HCI), focusing on aspects of handling and interaction known to be preferred by cats (i.e. ‘best practice’), and their variation. We then explored the potential significance of various human individual differences as predictors of these HCI styles. Seven separate HCI styles were identified via Principal Component Analysis (PCA) from averaged observations for 119 participants, interacting with sociable domestic cats within a rehoming context. Using General Linear Models (GLMs) and an Information Theoretic (IT) approach, we found these HCI PC components were weakly to strongly predicted by factors including cat-ownership history, participant personality (measured via the Big Five Inventory, or BFI), age, work experience with animals and participants’ subjective ratings of their cat behaviour knowledge. Paradoxically, greater cat ownership experiences and self-assessed cat knowledge were not positively associated with ‘best practice’ styles of HCI, but were instead generally predictive of HCI styles known to be less preferred by cats, as was greater participant age and Neuroticism. These findings have important implications regarding the quality of human-companion animal relationships and dyadic compatibility, in addition to the role of educational interventions and their targeting for optimal efficacy. In the context of animal adoption, these results strengthen the (limited) evidence base for decision making associated with cat-adopter screening and matching. In particular, our results suggest that greater cat ownership experiences and self-reports of cat knowledge might not necessarily convey advantages for cats in the context of HCI.
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Personality has been researched in many companion animals and is described as differences in behavioural traits of individuals that often remain consistent over time. In domestic cats many factors have been discovered to influence personality, including breed, coat colour, gender, rearing experience, number of cats within a household, owner age, owner gender and owner personality. However, research is limited for certain factors, including owner demographics, so the aim was to demonstrate that a simple survey could be used to infer personality traits and identify domestic cat and owner demographical factors that influence certain traits. An online personality survey with 34 traits was sent out to cat owners in the UK, Europe and North America, containing cat and owner demographical questions. Housing type, total number of cats in household and owner animal preference all had significant effects on many of the personality trait scores. Unexpectedly, cat breed, owner age, neutering status and country of residence showed distinct clusters in the multifactor analysis individual model but did not have any significant effects on any of the personality traits, along with coat colour, owner gender and cat gender which were initially considered of importance to the study, contradicting some of the previous research. This study highlights the importance of considering demographical factors that influence personality traits, to predict cat personality based on these factors to cater for specific husbandry practices and to improve the chances of successful adoption for those within shelters.
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The domestic cat has a predisposition to diseases of the genitourinary system. Among the diseases of the lower urinary tract in a domestic cat, the leading place belongs to cystitis. Among cats living in city apartments, compared with cats on free range, the diagnosis of idiopathic cystitis is 2.5 times more common . The lack of contact of the organism with the environment and threats has led to a decrease in the resistance of cats to stress. Prior to the publication of this article, there was no official information on the age and breed predisposition to idiopathic cystitis in domestic cats within the metropolis of Ukraine. We identified the following groups of pathologies: idiopathic cystitis, urolithiasis, bacterial cystitis and urethral plugs. 2 age groups of animals were formed - up to 6 and older than 6 years. The study involved domestic cats of 29 breeds. The study is retrospective and multicenter and it includes data obtained on the basis of outpatient journals of the network of Zoolux clinics from 09.10.2020 to 12.07.2021. A total of 384 clinical cases were used in the study, of which 44 were eliminated. Idiopathic cystitis was diagnosed in 256 animals (75.3%), of which males - 159 (62.1%) and females - 97 (37.9%). Domestic cats under 6 years of age (179 animals, 69.9%) most often suffered from idiopathic cystitis. Domestic cats of Eastern European breeds were the largest population among patients with idiopathic cystitis of cats of long- and short-haired breeds (138 animals, 53.9%). Key words: dysuria, stranguria, urocystitis, stress factors, urolithiasis, pollakiuria, lower urinary tract.
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The paper describes the automation of process performance management in a particular company, using specially developed client application. Performance management process is based on an analysis of data from the process. The main problem, of analysis in real cases, is the low availability of data from the process and the impossibility of obtaining the analysis results in real time. A detailed specification of business requirements related to performance management in the organization is presented as well as the way of application of WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) services, the concept of business intelligence, methodology for data warehousing DW (Data Warehousing), and application of Silverlight technology for solving this problem. In particular, it shows the implementation of Silverlight client application for processes performance management within the company.
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The ability of personality traits to predict important life outcomes has traditionally been questioned because of the putative small effects of personality. In this article, we compare the predictive validity of personality traits with that of socioeconomic status (SES) and cognitive ability to test the relative contribution of personality traits to predictions of three critical outcomes: mortality, divorce, and occupational attainment. Only evidence from prospective longitudinal studies was considered. In addition, an attempt was made to limit the review to studies that controlled for important background factors. Results showed that the magnitude of the effects of personality traits on mortality, divorce, and occupational attainment was indistinguishable from the effects of SES and cognitive ability on these outcomes. These results demonstrate the influence of personality traits on important life outcomes, highlight the need to more routinely incorporate measures of personality into quality of life surveys, and encourage further research about the developmental origins of personality traits and the processes by which these traits influence diverse life outcomes. © 2007 Association for Psychological Science.
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The present study explored personality differences between dog persons and cat persons. Participants (n=126) identified themselves as either a dog person, cat person, both or neither, and rated their own masculinity, femininity, independence, dominance and athleticism. Participants also read a description of a person who was labelled either dog person or cat person, and rated this person on these same personality characteristics. Results showed that females were more likely to label themselves cat persons than were males. Quality of past experience with dogs and cats was related to current ownership of dogs and cats. There were no personality differences between dog/cat owners versus non owners. However, there were personality differences between self-labelled dog versus cat persons. In addition, others attributed different personality characteristics to dog versus cat persons, often as a function of gender. The real versus perceived differences in personality were not the same.
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Previous research suggests that pet owners are psychologically different than non‐owners in terms of self‐esteem and other personality characteristics. In this study, 82 pet owners and 48 non‐owners were tested on self‐esteem, extraversion, neuroticism, and social self‐esteem. Special emphasis was placed on highly attached pet owners compared with non‐owners. Level of attachment was determined by scores from the CENSHARE pet attachment survey. No significant differences were found between the groups using analysis of variance and multivariate analysis of variance statistical procedures. It was concluded that pet owners and non‐owners may not be different in terms of personality but may have become victims of stereotyping by both the general population and scientific researchers. Discussion was given to related significant findings and recommendations for further research.
Article
Previous research suggests that pet owners are psychologically different than non-owners in terms of self-esteem and other personality characteristics. In this study, 82 pet owners and 48 non-owners were tested on self-esteem, extraversion, neuroticism, and social self-esteem. Special emphasis was placed on highly attached pet owners compared with non-owners. Level of attachment was determined by scores from the CENSHARE pet attachment survey. No significant differences were found between the groups using analysis of variance and multivariate analysis of variance statistical procedures. It was concluded that pet owners and non-owners may not be different in terms of personality but may have become victims of stereotyping by both the general population and scientific researchers. Discussion was given to related significant findings and recommendations for further research.