Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Personality and Compassion for Animals


Hopwood, Christopher J; Stahlmann, Alexander G; Bleidorn, Wiebke (2023). Personality and Compassion for Animals. Anthrozoos, 36(1):69-81.

Abstract

People vary in their compassion for animals, likely due in part to more variation in more basic personality and interpersonal behavior attributes. Previous research has generally suggested that more communal and agreeable people also tend to be more compassionate to animals. However, this research is limited regarding the range and depth of individual differences used to examine this issue. The goal of this preregistered study was to extend previous research by examining associations between compassion for animals and a wider range of variables than has been previously examined. In a representative sample of American adults (n = 992), we tested associations between compassion for animals and (a) Big Five personality trait domains, (b) Big Five trait aspects, (c) maladaptive Big Five trait domains, (d) interpersonal values, and (e) interpersonal problems. Results supported our hypothesis that compassion for animals is related to communion/agreeableness and openness to experience. Consistent with our hypotheses, the compassionate aspect of agreeableness drove correlations with that trait. Contrary to our hypotheses, maladaptive antagonism was not more strongly related to compassion for animals than normal-range agreeableness. The results provide a fuller portrait of the personological foundation of compassion for animals. Specifically, people who are more communal/agreeable and open tend to be more compassionate toward animals. This suggests that personality-related patterns of behavior among humans extend to human-animal interactions. Results also provide a basis for future work examining the mechanisms underlying human compassion for animals.

Abstract

People vary in their compassion for animals, likely due in part to more variation in more basic personality and interpersonal behavior attributes. Previous research has generally suggested that more communal and agreeable people also tend to be more compassionate to animals. However, this research is limited regarding the range and depth of individual differences used to examine this issue. The goal of this preregistered study was to extend previous research by examining associations between compassion for animals and a wider range of variables than has been previously examined. In a representative sample of American adults (n = 992), we tested associations between compassion for animals and (a) Big Five personality trait domains, (b) Big Five trait aspects, (c) maladaptive Big Five trait domains, (d) interpersonal values, and (e) interpersonal problems. Results supported our hypothesis that compassion for animals is related to communion/agreeableness and openness to experience. Consistent with our hypotheses, the compassionate aspect of agreeableness drove correlations with that trait. Contrary to our hypotheses, maladaptive antagonism was not more strongly related to compassion for animals than normal-range agreeableness. The results provide a fuller portrait of the personological foundation of compassion for animals. Specifically, people who are more communal/agreeable and open tend to be more compassionate toward animals. This suggests that personality-related patterns of behavior among humans extend to human-animal interactions. Results also provide a basis for future work examining the mechanisms underlying human compassion for animals.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
6 citations in Web of Science®
5 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

60 downloads since deposited on 14 Apr 2023
60 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Education
Social Sciences & Humanities > Anthropology
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Health Sciences > Veterinary (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sociology and Political Science, Veterinary (miscellaneous), Animal Science and Zoology, Anthropology, Education
Language:English
Date:2 January 2023
Deposited On:14 Apr 2023 10:21
Last Modified:30 Mar 2024 02:35
Publisher:Berg Publishers
ISSN:0892-7936
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2022.2084996
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)