Study Finds Pets May Influence Human Behavior

We’ve all heard the stereotypes that dog owners are more outgoing than cat owners. Well, some new research may indicate that there could be some truth to the stereotype! Overall, the research found that:

  • Dog owners tend to take bigger risks and respond more to reward-oriented advertisements
  • Cat owners, on the other hand, are more cautious and more likely to react to ads emphasizing risk aversion
  • These effects occur because people form mental associations of pets’ stereotypical temperaments and personalities
  • Upon exposure to dogs or cats, these associations rise to the top of the mind and influence decisions and behaviors, an effect confirmed by the research

Why it matters

Pets, especially dogs and cats, are prevalent and play important roles in the lives of tens of millions of people. It is only natural to wonder if our furry friends exert an influence on us, just as our human friends and family members do. And their research suggests that they do.

What still isn’t known

There’s more to learn, like other possible effects that pets have on their human’s decisions and behaviors. The researchers also want to examine whether interactions with pets could affect people’s tendencies to donate to charitable causes and engage in other activities meant to benefit others.

Want to learn more? Read the full article below.

Dog owners take more risks, cat owners are more cautious – new research examines how people conform to their pets’ stereotypical traits

Dog owners tend to take bigger risks and respond more to reward-oriented advertisements. Cat owners, on the other hand, are more cautious and more likely to react to ads emphasizing risk aversion. Those are the two main findings from new peer-reviewed research I co-authored.

If you’re interested in reading about studies, check out this study that suggests cats know each other’s names or this study that demonstrates how cats know where you are when you’ve left the room.

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