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“Dog People” vs. “Cat People”: Are Their Personalities Actually That Different?

This study aimed to determine whether personality type had an influence on one’s preference for cats or dogs, the results of which could lead to a more effective pairing between owners and their pets. Previous research suggests pet preference is related to personal differences in the Big Five Personality Traits. However, there were some conflicting characteristics found in each preference. Both openness and neuroticism were found in cat lovers and both social dominance and agreeableness for dog lovers. Because of this, we decided to investigate the two distinct personalities of type A and type B. Since previous research showed “dog” people having high agreeableness and “cat people” having high neuroticism, we hypothesized that people with type A personalities would prefer cats and those with type B personalities would prefer dogs. To obtain results, an online survey was sent out that contained a modified version of the Bortner Rating Scale (BRS) and a questionnaire regarding pet preference in various ways, such as rating pictures of cats and dogs on a Likert scale, self-identification, and pet history. The results showed no significant relationship between personality type and pet preference, refuting our hypothesis. In conclusion, we determined that personality type is not an effective way to measure one’s pet preference, as there’s more variability in one’s personality than just two distinct categories of type A and type B. Future research should examine other factors that can influence pet preference.

Danielle Collins '22, Lexus Mastromatteo'24, Samantha Reynolds '23
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