Do Cat People and Dog People Have Basic Personality Differences?
Two days ago CNN reported on a study that sought to look at the differences between cat people and dog people. From the study:
Ever wonder what your preference for cats or dogs says about you?
A team of researchers led by psychologist Sam Gosling at the University of Texas at Austin wanted to find out. They posted a questionnaire online as part of a larger study about personality called the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project.
The article continues:
It turns out that the "dog people" -- based on how people identified themselves, not on what animals they actually own -- tend to be more social and outgoing, whereas "cat people" tend to be more neurotic but "open," which means creative, philosophical, or nontraditional in this context.
Not surprisingly, one or two cat people interviewed for the article took issue with the word neurotic. And the researchers claim they cannot answer the question of whether owning a cat might make a person more open or whether owning a dog might make one more outgoing.
What about people who switch teams?
Veterinarian David Bessler, senior emergency clinician at NYC Veterinary Specialists in New York City, said he was a dog person growing up, but that owning a cat has "converted " him. It hasn't changed his personality, but he can imagine that dog people and cat people have personality differences.
As a convert myself I agree that one can learn to love a new species without undergoing a personality change. (I was a cat person until my pal Buster showed me the light. Now I am a cat and dog person.) It is obvious that the study's conclusions are generalizations and do not apply to everyone. But the article is very interesting nonetheless.