• People-pleasing animals: mediating factors in attachment style difference between dog people and cat people

      Link, Jennifer (2021-05)
      Pets are more ubiquitous now than ever; with more and more couples opting to adopt dogs instead of having children, there’s never been a better time to attempt to discern the ways that people view these animals and what makes some people more likely to adopt one animal over another. Though past research has aimed to examine the ways that dog and cat people differ in terms of personality, little research has attempted to assess the role of attachment in the preference that individuals have towards one animal or another. The present research aimed to assess the ways that attribution of theory of mind and attachment style impact the preference that individuals have for cats or dogs. Findings suggest that, on average, participants attributed more theory of mind to dogs than to cats overall. Study 2 also indicates that pet preference, as well as attachment style, appear to partly influence the amount of theory of mind an individual attributes to dogs in particular. The results of this research may begin to unravel the ways that individuals attribute different traits to their pets based on species, and hopefully will contribute to the broader literature on the way that personality and individual differences factor into the preferences that individuals have for different animals as pets.