Ever find yourself in a conversation where people define themselves as “dog people” or “cat people”?
Well apparently there may be some merit to it!
According to a new study, “dog people” and “cat people” really do have different personalities.
People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be more lively — meaning they were more energetic and outgoing — and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules.
And in a finding that’s sure to spark rivalries among pet owners, cat lovers scored higher on intelligence than dog lovers (hey don’t shoot the messenger)!
Part of the reason for the personality differences may be related to the types of environments cat or dog people prefer said the researchers citing that a dog person will likely be out there, bringing their dog for a walk, etc., while a cat person does not need to do that.
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 a slew of questions to assess their personality.
More people said they were dog lovers than cat lovers: About 60 percent of participants identified themselves as dog people, compared with 11 percent who said they were cat people. (The rest said they liked both animals, or neither animal.)
Dog lovers found companionship to be the most attractive quality in their pet dogs, while cat people liked the affection from their cats.
Researchers also said that it’s possible that people may select pets based on their own personality. For example, cats are often seen as independent animals that keep to themselves, and are cautious of others and if you are like that you probably appreciate it in an animal.
Because the study involved college students, it’s not known whether the results apply to other age groups, but, previous studies have had similar findings. A 2010 study of more than 4,500 people found that dog lovers tend to be more extroverted (or outgoing), and conscientious (or rule-following).
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