What is the personality of your pet?

Exotic Pet Ownership and Personality

Mauerer, Ina Maria (2009) Exotic Pet Ownership and Personality.
Diploma thesis, University of Vienna. Faculty of Psychology
Supervisor: Hergovich, Andreas

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Abstract in German

The choice of the right pet and the possible influences on it, such as experiences with animals or personality traits of the owner, were examined in many ways. However, the main concern was with owners of cats and dogs. This study examined the relationship between the personality of pet owners and the type of their pet, with a focus on exotic pets. For this purpose, 250 people were divided into nine groups: cats, dogs, small animals, birds, aquariums, reptiles and spiders / insect owners, as well as owners of many animals and non-animal owners. Taking into account other variables (gender and strength of attachment), significant differences between the animal owners were found in the scales extraversion, openness to experience and tolerance. Female owners of cold-blooded exotic pets had lower scores on the openness scale than owners of classic pets. Small animal owners were significantly less open than spider and insect owners. Male and strongly bonded owners of classic pets had higher scores on the tolerance scale than owners of cold-blooded exotic pets. More strongly bonded owners of classic animals were more extroverted than owners of warm-blooded exotic animals. There were also differences with regard to the bond with the pet. Women were more attached to their animals than men and there were also differences between the animal groups. Owners of classic and warm-blooded exotic pets were more closely bonded than owners of cold-blooded exotic pets. Classic pet owners were the most strongly bonded, followed by warm-blooded exotic pet owners, and the weakest bonded were cold-blooded exotic pet owners. People who grew up with exotic pets also currently owned them. People who owned exotic pets planned to own them in the future. Different types of pets are related to personalities and ownership, but other variables are just as important.

Keywords in German

Pets / exotic animals / personality / bond / human-animal relationship

Abstract in English

Choosing the right pet and variables influencing that choice such as experience with pets and the owner’s personality have been subject to many studies. However, they deal almost exclusively with owners of cats and dogs. In this study the relationship between the pet owners ’personality and the type of pet was examined with a special focus on exotic animals. Therefore, 250 subjects were split into nine groups: cat-, dog-, small animal-, bird-, fish-, reptile-, spider / insect-, many animal- and non-owners. Taking further variables (sex of the owner and level of attachment) into account, significant differences in the personality dimensions extraversion, openness to experience and agreeableness were found among the owners. Female owners of cold-blooded exotic pets scored lower on the scale openness to experience owners of classic pets. Female owners of small mammals were less open than owners of spiders / insects. Male and highly attached owners of classic pets scored higher on the scale agreeableness than owners of cold-blooded exotic animals. Highly attached owners of classic animals were more extraverted than owners of warm-blooded exotic pets. There were also several differences in the level of attachment. Women had a stronger attachment to their pets than men and the pet groups also differed. Owners of classic animals were most attached, followed by owners of warm-blooded exotic animals, and least attached were the owners of cold-blooded exotic animals. People who had grown up with exotic pets also owned them presently. People who owned exotic pets also planned to own them in the future. Some of these results match with the results gained with classic animals. Personality and type of pet owned are correlated; However, other variables are equally important.

Keywords in English

pets / exotic animals / personality / attachment / human-animal relationship

Document Type: University thesis (diploma thesis)
Author:Mauerer, Ina Maria
Title:Exotic Pet Ownership and Personality
Circumference:VIII, 129 pp.
Institution:University of Vienna
Faculty:Faculty of Psychology
Publication year:2009
Language:ger ... German
Supervisor:Hergovich, Andreas
Assessor:Hergovich, Andreas
Classification:77 Psychology> 77.69 Social psychology: other
AC number:AC07869929
Document ID:6605
(The PDF layout is identical to the print version of the university thesis.)

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