17 Basic Differences Between Dog People And Cat People | Thought Catalog
There really is a difference between "dog people" and "cat people," according to new research from a University of Texas at Austin. By studying the correlation between personalities and relationships with pets, . According to the authors, this research is the first to compare cat personality. Personality Differences Between Dog and Cat People. 3 Replies. Cats or Dogs? I am sure we've all been asked the age old question one too.
To do this, the researchers surveyed pet owners 89 cat owners and dog owners to determine differences between people who prefer dogs and people who prefer cats. Data from Gosling, Sandy, and Potter at the University of Texas at Austin, indicates clear personality differences between individuals that favor dogs and those that favor cats. Some noteworthy points from this research include that 'dog' people are more extroverted, conscientious, and agreeable than 'cat' people, while 'cat' people are more neurotic and open than individuals that favor dogs.
The research was carried out with volunteers, who identified whether they favored cats, dogs, or both, and then these volunteers were assessed on a Big Five Personality Inventory.
Also worth noting, more people identified as 'dog' people than 'cat' people Gosling, et. These studies have focused on the effects of pets on various participants such as 'normal' people, psychiatric patients, and elderly individuals. A key study relating to happiness, pets, and the current research was carried out by McConell and others. The primary focus of this publication was to discuss the positive effects of owning pets, which the authors determined after executing three studies on the topic.
The work determined that although all pets, specifically dog owners, have better psychological well-being, the extent to which the dogs fill social needs determines how much better off the owners wellbeing is. Another important point made in the work is that pets provide beneficial social interaction unrelated to human support, whether human support is plentiful or lacking: In short, there were numerous psychological and health benefits to 'everyday' pet owners McConnell, et.
Additionally, Serpell's research indicated that owning pets has positive effects on human health and wellbeing. Two groups of adults acquired a new pet either a cat or dogwhile a control group did not acquire a new pet, and the behavior of the three groups was studied over a ten month period.
Interestingly, during the first month of ownership, both groups owning pets reported less minor health problems, and dog owners continued to reap this benefit across the entire ten month research period. The control group, without pets, had no statistically significant changes to their health or well-being, while the other two groups, especially the dog owning group, did benefit from owning pets Serpell, Another noteworthy study was carried out in by Mindlab International on behalf of the United Kingdom dog food brand Winalot.
In short, the study indicated that spending time with one's dog leads to reduced stress levels and increased happiness.
In addition, the research discussed other aspects of how people relate to and interact with their dogs Dogs Proven as Effective Stress Relievers, In another study, Barker and Dawson aimed to determine if trained animal-assisted therapy played a role in the anxiety of hospitalized psychiatric patients, and if less anxiety affected patients' diagnoses. To do this, the researchers compared the results of a self-reported anxiety scale after patients had received animal-assisted therapy and traditional therapy.
Although studies concerning pets generally indicate that pets improve happiness and well-being, not all research has reached these conclusions. For example, Kaiser, Keilman, McGavin, Spence, and Struble sought to determine if elderly nursing home residents preferred a dog or human visitor. The dog visitor was a certified therapy dog, while the human visitor was an enthusiastic young adult. The small sample size of six indicated that the residents enjoyed the visits equally.
Only five of the participants completed the post visit interview, and of these five residents, three liked the visits equally, while one person preferred the dog, and one person preferred being visited by the 'happy' person Kaiser, et. Also not aligning with the general notion and current hypothesis that pets improve happiness levels is the study by Johnson and Rule examining personality characteristics, especially those indicating or related to self-esteem in pet owners and non-owners.
High self-esteem is an indicator of general happiness, which makes this study relevant to the topic of happiness and pets. The authors tested 82 pet owners and 48 non-pet owners in this survey and paid special attention to the personality characteristics of pet owners highly attached to their pets.
Androgyny and Pets The concept of androgyny, or sharing masculine and feminine personality traits, interacts with other aspects of personality. Fallani, Prato-Previde, and Valsechhi conducted an observational study in order to determine if men and women exhibited differences in the ways that they interacted with their pets.
In order to research this, they arranged a modified version of Ainsworth's Strange Situation with pets and pet owners. The participants included 15 women and 10 men, and the researchers recorded the interactions between the participants and their pets.
The research included rating the play and affiliative behavior of the owners along with a questionnaire seeking to judge attachment between pet and owner. Noteworthy results from the research include that women used 'motherese' when talking to their pets and were more verbal to the pets, whereas men and women played, showed affiliative behavior, and indicated attachment similarly. While this research does not support the current research hypothesis that those who have or like animals are more likely to exhibit stereotypically female characteristics, it is worth noting that this research indicated a gender difference in verbal communication Fallani, Prato-Previde, and Valsechhi, In other research, Edelson and Lester also found gender differences in their research into the topic of pet ownership and relationships.
Concerning gender, Edelson and Lester found that women were more likely than men to own a cat. In especially noteworthy research Ramirez interviewed 26 participants, who were also dog owners. This research supports the current hypothesis that personality, specifically masculinity, femininity, and androgyny plays a role in relationships with pets. The research sought to consider how gender norms affect relationships with pets. The participants in this research were found to apply gender norms in choosing dogs to own, discussing their dog's personality, and vicariously displaying their own personalities through their dogs Ramirez, Because domestic abuse and animal abuse commonly occur together, Gupta sought to learn if functional links between domestic violence and animal abuse existed.
Aggression is a stereotypically masculine trait, so this research provides useful information to the researcher in order to find possible gender differences in relating to pets. Gupta's results suggested that intimate partner violence and animal abuse are connected, and that gender differences exist in the abuse. Emotional callousness in men was linked to domestic violence and animal abuse, while for females, projection-sensitivity predicted domestic violence and animal abuse Gupta, While the current research focuses on attachment rather than abuse, gender differences in animal abuse suggest that masculinity, femininity, and androgyny may indicate differences in relationships with pets.
Although some research does indicate gender differences in relationships with pets, not all research reveals significant gender differences on this topic.
In a literature review of the broad topic of gender differences in human and animal interactions, Herzog found mixed reviews of how gender affects our relations with animals Herzog's findings support the current research's hypothesis that women typically display more positive relationships with animals than men.
Some of the topics reviewed that led to this finding include the two genders' levels of attachment to animals and attitudes toward activities like hunting, and animal protection.
Herzog's literature review findings indicate that in general, men and women's attitudes towards animals overlap more than these attitudes significantly differ Herzog, Research Thesis The current research problem examines several factors relating to personality and relationships with pets. Based on the popular ideas of pets and personality, which was reinforced by the psychological literature on the topic, the researcher formed several hypotheses. Primarily, personality is related to choice of pets.
In this hypothesis, the independent variable is personality, and the dependent variable is choice of pets. This outcome is expected because owning pets is a considerable undertaking in which personality is likely to influence one's choice. This conclusion is expected because of the caretaking reputation of women.
Next, the researcher hypothesized that one chooses a pet that is the same sex as he or she. In this hypothesis, the independent variable is the individual's sex, and the dependent variable is the sex of the individual's pet.
This result is expected based solely on observation of pets and owners, so the statistical quantification of this hypothesis will be of interest to the researcher. Another hypothesis the researcher examined is that animals as pets positively affect their owners' overall happiness, as indicated by their scores on the Subjective Happiness Scale In this hypothesis, the independent variable is whether or not individuals own animals as pets, and the dependent variable is the individuals' overall happiness exhibited on the Subject Happiness Scale.
The current research hypothesized that individuals that choose or would choose to own dogs exhibit extraverted characteristics, and individuals that choose or would choose to own cats exhibit introverted characteristics, according to Drs.
John and Sanjay Srivastava's Big 5 Inventory. This hypothesis was formed based on public opinion and research indicating personality differences between people who prefer cats and those that prefer dogs Gosling et al. Lastly, the researcher also hypothesized that individuals that choose or would choose to own stereotypically masculine or feminine dogs are likely to exhibit stereotyped masculine or feminine characteristics based on the Stanford Androgynous Personality Test, while individuals scoring high on this scale for androgyny are likely to prefer gender neutral dogs.
Sex typed traits and behaviors remain common in popular culture, so the researcher presumed that pet ownership behavior would mimic this phenomenon. Method Participants The participants were selected through a convenience sample at a small midwestern university. They were enrolled in classes in sociology, psychology, and education both undergraduate and graduate courses in education. Students were also surveyed in a computer lab. Participants were given an option to decline to take part in the research.
The sample was made up of 71 women and 33 men, for a total of participants. The majority of the students fell into the range, and Most of the participants are completing their undergraduate degree, and the remaining The most prevalent reported grade level of the participants was sophomore year in college. The current research was approved by the McKendree University Institutional Review Board and was conducted according to the American Psychological Association ethical guidelines American Psychological Association, Procedure The researcher formed hypotheses based on observations and popular culture indicators, and reviewed literature pertaining to pets and personality in order to determine if the hypotheses had been supported elsewhere.
The adaptations consisted of applying a consistent 7 point Likert scale to the three scales. After the survey was completed, it was field tested in the researcher's Experimental Psychology and Research Methods course, where minor revisions were suggested and ultimately made.
After finalizing the survey, the researcher sent the research to the McKendree University Institutional Review Board, where it was deemed exempt from review. The researcher then distributed the survey to participants at a small midwestern university. After collecting the surveys, the researcher inputted the data and ran statistical tests, including descriptive statistics, frequencies, correlations, and ANOVAs.
Results The current research data indicated that, in many instances, personality is related to individuals' relationships with pets. Further, the measure used to judge if individuals liked pets, 'Would you want a pet? A median split was used to judge participants' responses as high masculine greater than 50 total score, and less than 60 feminine score high feminine greater than 60 feminine score and less than 50 masculine totaland high androgyny high or low on both masculinity and femininity.
Although nonsignificant, the data indicated that individuals hope to own a male pet more often than a female pet, regardless of the participant's gender. Because participants indicated high happiness levels and high levels of owning and wanting to own a pet, no significant results were found concerning pets positively affecting their owners' overall happiness.
Introversion and extroversion levels also did not play a role in wanting a pet. Although nonsignificant, a one way ANOVA indicated that individuals with high masculine scores preferred rottweilers, and individuals with high feminine scores preferred malteses. Also, the nonsignificant data indicated that happier and more extroverted people preferred rotweillers.
Other interesting findings from the research include that far more participants preferred to own a dog over a cat Also, golden retrievers were found to be the most popular dog to be owned among participants 35 participants' choice.
Conversely, schnauzers were the least popular dog to own among participants 7 participants' choice. Discussion The present research resulted in numerous interesting and applicable results, reinforcing common ideas and previous research on the topic of personality and pets, as well as investigating original ideas. However, due to the nature of the research experience, limitations exist. A factor that may have influenced the results of the research is that the sample size of participants may not have been large enough to adequately or validly gauge the research hypotheses.
The small sample size was also limited to college students. Although the researcher made certain to include non-traditional students in the sample, the majority of students participating in the research were of traditional college age Because of the age range of the majority of participants, the individuals in this age group may not have their own pet.
Thus, many participants probably referred to their family pet when responding to the survey, which may have skewed the amount of individuals that owned pets to a higher number. Additionally, more women than men took part in the research. Since the number of participants was not equally divided by sex, women are more represented.
Ideally, the present research would be conducted with an equal split of men and women, especially since the data relies on reports of masculine and feminine characteristics. Another factor that impacted the results of the research was that not all participants fully completed the survey.
Thus, the statistical tests were not all carried out with the full participant sample.
Had all the responses been completed, response bias would have been controlled. Although a contributing factor to incomplete surveys was likely fatigue on the part of the participants, some participants may have found the directions confusing.
While field testing the survey, numerous ideas on how to improve the survey were discussed. Although most of these suggestions were helpful to the present research, perhaps over-analysis of the survey layout and directions actually resulted in less 'user-friendly' survey. The survey participants reported, on average, high levels of happiness. While the researcher was encouraged by the high happiness reports of the campus, the high happiness levels may have limited the correlations being explored.
Had more variance existed in the reports of happiness, results may have differed. Additionally, the high happiness levels of college students leads to the questions of whether the self-reported scores were inflated by the respondent or if college students are really very happy individuals.
Possibly, older participants with more 'real world' responsibility would have reported lower happiness levels, which would have affected the results of the research.
The survey item relating to choice of dog breeds contained six options, which in retrospect, may have provided too many choices for the participants. The survey question contained two stereotypically masculine dogs Rottweiler and German shepherdtwo stereotypically feminine dogs Yorkshire terrier and Malteseand two 'androgynous' dogs schnauzer and golden retriever.
Had the survey item only included one of each style of dog, the results may have been more valid.
The Differences Between Cat and Dog Lovers
In the current research, individuals may have been more likely to choose to own a breed of dog that they have a personal connection to. If a German shepherd was the only 'masculine' dog, the individual may have been more likely to choose to own a different dog. Although personal bias toward particular breeds of dogs is inevitable, had individuals' breed choices been limited, the results would probably have more validly indicated how perception of gender roles in dog breeds impacted their choice.
Moreover, had less popular, but equally 'gendered' dogs been listed as choices of dog breeds, individuals may have had less personal attachment to the dog breeds. Thus, their responses may have more accurately indicated their feelings on gender and dog breeds. It would also be interesting to replicate the survey with different pictures of the dog breeds, such as gentler or angrier images, to see if such factors impact breed choice. The current research explored the conceptual hypothesis that personality relates to relationships with pets, including choice of pets.
The data did not indicate that those who exhibit stereotypical female personality traits were more likely to want to own pets. The basis for this hypothesis was that female characteristics exist in individuals that possess maternal instincts.
- 17 Basic Differences Between Dog People And Cat People
- Personality Differences Between Dog and Cat People
The rejection of the hypothesis that highly feminine individuals would be more likely than androgynous or highly masculine individuals to want to own pets may have resulted from of a lack of validity in the survey items relating to gender. The Stanford Androgynous Personality Test survey items may not use wording that appropriately judges androgyny by present standards.
For example, college women today are likely to report that they are independent, which is judged by the Stanford Androgynous Personality Test to be a masculine trait. Perhaps ideas like independence or ambition do not signify masculinity to women like the participants in the current research. However, the data indicated that men reported significantly higher totals for masculine survey items, but women did not report significantly higher feminine totals.
The Personality Differences Between Cat And Dog People Are Exactly What You'd Expect
Women were likely to rate themselves highly on certain masculine survey items, such as independence, ambition, or even competitiveness. However, for overtly masculine survey items, women seemed to balk at describing themselves as dominant, aggressive, or forceful, but men were more likely to report highly for items like these. Although not all men reported highly for these obvious masculine terms even with men, these items appeared to carry a stigma of some sortbecause men ranked themselves higher for all masculine traits, and the results indicated significantly higher masculine totals.
Perhaps the Stanford Androgynous Personality test does in fact still validly gauge androgyny. At least to some extent, the results of the current research support the societal trend that women and men are indicating more similar traits. Although women were less likely to highly rate themselves for overtly masculine traits, men did not seem to hesitate to rate themselves highly for feminine items like being loving towards children or compassionate.
In fact, the majority of respondents' scores 44 placed them into the category of 'androgynous,' rather than 'highly masculine' or 'highly feminine. In survey after survey, people who say they love dogs outnumber cat-lovers by as much as five to one. Dog people are far more sociable and outgoing than cat people. Dog lovers are friendlier and more extroverted than cat lovers, who prefer to be alone. Dog lovers also tend to be more confident and dominant than cat people.
Cat people are more intelligent than dog people. And they will never let you forget this, nor the fact that they think cats are also far more intelligent than dogs.
Cat people are more neurotic than dog people. Cat lovers tend to be more prone to anxiety and neurotic disorders than dog people. This may be because their pets are far less likely to constantly reassure them. Cat people are more likely to live alone and in apartments than dog people. One study shoes that cat owners are a third more likely to live alone than dog owners and twice as likely to live in an apartment rather than a house. The most likely individuals to own cats are single women.
Dog people are more likely to live in rural areas than cat people. The East and West Coasts are much more likely to favor cat owners, while dogs rule the American South. Overall, dog people are 30 more likely to live in the country, while cat people are 29 percent more likely to live in the city. Dog people tend to be more conservative than cat people. Owning a dog correlates strongly with having traditional values. Dog owners are also generally more rule-abiding than cat owners. Dog owners tend to skew Republican, while cat owners lean Democrat.
Dog people are more obedient—just like dogs. Cat owners tend to be nonconformists, while dog owners generally follow the tide and obey all rules.