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The Effect of Watching a Large or Small Pseudo Shelter Dog Sit on Command on College Students' Self-rated Willingness to Adopt

By Vanessa Hajek

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Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF Vanessa M. Hajek for the Master of Science in Psychology presented Title: The Effect of Watching a Large or Small Pseudo Shelter Dog Sit on Command on College Students’ Self-rated Willingness to Adopt    Abstract approved: This study investigated the effects of watching a large or small pseudo shelter dog sit on command in a shelter environment on college students’ self-rated willingness to adopt.  This study also investigated whether participants make use of information presented on cage cards of shelter dogs’ kennels. Participants were 80 undergraduate Emporia State University (ESU) students. Researchers introduced students to two dogs in outdoor runs appearing as shelter dogs at the Humane Society of the Flint Hills in Emporia, KS. There were four conditions, including conditions where students saw the small dog sit on command (SM SIT), the large dog sit on command (LG SIT) or control conditions were either dog did not sit (i.e., SM NO SIT and LG NO SIT). I took students one by one to the adjacent outdoor runs housing the pseudo shelter dogs and briefly introduced each dog. For the SM SIT conditions, I asked the small dog to sit on command. For the LG SIT conditions, I asked the large dog to sit on command. For either the SM NO SIT and LG NO SIT trials, I let the dogs behave naturally (i.e., I did not give the dogs a command to sit). After each student viewed both dogs, another researcher administered the Shelter Dog Survey. Results indicate neither a dog’s size or behavior influence willingness to adopt. Willingness to adopt was not significantly greater amongst participants who saw pseudo shelter dogs sit on command. Likewise, there was no significant difference between willingness to adopt the large dog sitting on command and willingness to adopt the small dog sitting on command.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2016
Pages 66
Publisher Emporia State University
Department Psychology
Degree Master of Science
URL http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3535
Language English
University Emporia State University
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Tags
  1. Adoption
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animal roles
  4. Animal shelters
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Dogs
  7. Homeless pets
  8. Mammals
  9. pet adoption
  10. Pet ownership
  11. Pets and companion animals
  12. Shelter pets
  13. shelters
  14. students
  15. Universities and Colleges