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Singly living people and their cats: a study of human mood and subsequent behavior.


Turner, D C; Rieger, G (2001). Singly living people and their cats: a study of human mood and subsequent behavior. Anthrozoös, 14(1):38-46.

Abstract

We sought to examine how cat owners’ moods correlated with subsequent interactions with their cats. Such a relationship has not been previously documented. Data from 47 women and 49 men living alone with their cats were collected. Participants were visited at their homes for one two-hour session each. Approximately five minutes before and after the observation period, the owners filled out a standard questionnaire (EWL, list of adjectives) to indicate their current mood. The EWL allowed the authors to later assign owner moods to one or more of 14 sub-scales. In this study, results on correlates of moods at the beginning and during the subsequent first half hour of interactions are presented. Multiple regression analyses showed that related mood sub-scales, e.g. anxiety and depressiveness, can influence human behavior in different directions, and that bipolar mood sub-scales, e.g. introvertedness and extrovertedness, do not necessarily work in opposite directions. Four human behaviors were related to mood: intents to interact, starts of interactions, and approaches and vocalizations while interacting. While the start of an interaction was influenced by eight different mood sub-scales, the others mentioned were only related to four sub-scales at most. The only recorded behavior of the cat that was significantly correlated with the owner’s mood was approaches to the owner within an ongoing interaction.

We sought to examine how cat owners’ moods correlated with subsequent interactions with their cats. Such a relationship has not been previously documented. Data from 47 women and 49 men living alone with their cats were collected. Participants were visited at their homes for one two-hour session each. Approximately five minutes before and after the observation period, the owners filled out a standard questionnaire (EWL, list of adjectives) to indicate their current mood. The EWL allowed the authors to later assign owner moods to one or more of 14 sub-scales. In this study, results on correlates of moods at the beginning and during the subsequent first half hour of interactions are presented. Multiple regression analyses showed that related mood sub-scales, e.g. anxiety and depressiveness, can influence human behavior in different directions, and that bipolar mood sub-scales, e.g. introvertedness and extrovertedness, do not necessarily work in opposite directions. Four human behaviors were related to mood: intents to interact, starts of interactions, and approaches and vocalizations while interacting. While the start of an interaction was influenced by eight different mood sub-scales, the others mentioned were only related to four sub-scales at most. The only recorded behavior of the cat that was significantly correlated with the owner’s mood was approaches to the owner within an ongoing interaction.

Citations

10 citations in Web of Science®
8 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2001
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Berg Publishers
ISSN:0892-7936
Publisher DOI:10.2752/089279301786999652

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