Whenever there is a choice between two options, it’s human nature to polarise the debate. Cats vs. Dogs, Left-handers vs. Right-handers, Coffee vs. Tea. Throw in a little bit of research and watch the debate rage on.
A recent study presented at the annual Association for Psychological Science meeting, explored the relationship between personality and pet ownership.
The researchers surveyed 600 college students, asking whether they would identify themselves as dog lovers or cat lovers, and what qualities they found most attractive in their pets. Participants also answered questions to assess their personality and overall intelligence.
Some of the research findings will add fuel to the debate or cats versus dogs. Interestingly, one of the findings was that cat owners scored higher on overall intelligence. This has led some pundits to claim that cat owners are smarter than dog owners. But is this really true? Is it your pet that affects your intelligence or is it your personality that determines the type of pet you will own?
Study researcher Dr. Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, notes that perhaps some people select pets based on their own personality. Since the requirements of owning a cat versus a dog are different, it makes sense that you would choose a pet that is more suited to your personality.
For example, the study found that dog owners tend to be more lively, outgoing, and rule-following, while cat owners are typically more introverted, sensitive, non-conforming, and open-minded.
Other than giving cat owners something to feel superior about, why is this research important? The researcher hope that by understanding the links between personality and pet ownership may help to improve pet therapy and overall per ownership.
What are your thoughts? Are you a cat or a dog person? Do you think your personality influenced your pet choice?
I wonder, did they give results for people who answered Both, Cats and Dogs?
If choice is governed by personality, then my 2 dogs and 4 cats mean I have a split personality, Grin. Seriously though, it would be interesting to know the IQ and personality results for owners of both.