Do you ever look down at your sleeping pet and think how similar you are? Your dog may be as hyped as you are about that upcoming trip or your cat may be rolling their eyes with you at something.
There is a reason why the terms ‘cat people’ and ‘dog people’ exist. Your preference for felines or canines reflects inherent personality traits akin to your favoured animal.
A study in the University of Texas assessed a large group of people on five main personality traits, commonly known as the Big Five; the parameters often used by psychologists to study traits.
This trait indicates your inclination towards diligence and organisation in carrying out a task.
Dog people were rated to be 11% more conscientious than cat people. A sense of duty and obedience in dog persons makes them more likely to follow rules.
That is not to say that cat people are willful. They tend to question situations, motives and orders as an act of self-preservation.
This characteristic shows how quickly and to what degree you trust others. Dog people are high in this attribute and are generous to everyone they meet, genuinely sympathetic to their needs and sometimes gullible to a fault.
On the other hand, a cat’s reputation for being stand-offish comes from low agreeableness. Cat people are often wary with strangers, taking time to gauge an individual and eventually warm up to them.
This trait refers to how well you can manage your emotions. Cat people are calculated to be 12% more neurotic than dog people, with a sensitivity that makes them more prone to worrying and overthinking.
Since the spectrum of their thoughts is much wider than dog people, they also spot more problems to stress over, real or imagined. Dog people are easy going and tend to be less anxious overall.
Openness indicates people’s reception to new things. How ready you are to explore, whether it’s a new trek site or a sandwich on the menu, how vivid your own internal adventures and intellectually curious you are.
Cat people are said to be more open as they have a natural curiosity to discover more, to experiment and have unconventional beliefs. The cat’s famous independence that cat people echo allows them to be sensitive and open-minded to creative and intellectual pursuits.
Some interesting research shows that cat people are more likely to be atheists than dog people. Dog owners tend to stick to safer, calculated choices in unfamiliar situations and are more likely to believe authority figures without question. They are also more traditional and conservative in their values than cat people.
Similar to agreeableness, extraversion is a measure of sociability. Your level of extraversion indicates where you derive your energy from.
Dog people are rated to be 15% more extraverted, taking the initiative in social situations while cat people tend to shy away from crowds. Thus cat people are more likely to live alone and in apartments, rating higher on introversion.
The experimenter conducting this study, Sam Gosling, said “There is a widely held cultural belief that the pet species – dog or cat – with which a person has the strongest affinity says something about the individual’s personality, and this research suggests there are significant differences on major personality traits between dog people and cat people.”
The next time you settle down for a movie with your cat or go for a drive with your dog, you’ll know that reason you get along so famously isn’t coincidence but a real likeness in character.
Personalities of Self-Identified “Dog People”and “Cat People” http://www.2ndchance.info/toxoplasmosis-Gosling2010.pdf
17 Basic Differences Between Dog People And Cat People http://thoughtcatalog.com/lorenzo-jensen-iii/2015/06/17-basic-differences-between-dog-people-and-cat-people/
The Truth About Pets and Personality http://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-truth-about-cat-people-and-dog-people
Personality Differences Between Dog and Cat Owners https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201002/personality-differences-between-dog-and-cat-owners
The Big Five Personality Theory: The 5 Factors Explained https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/big-five-personality-theory/