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Attitudes toward animals: the effect of priming thoughts of human-animal similarities and mortality salience on the evaluation of companion animals

By R. Beatson, S. Loughnan, M. Halloran

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Abstract

Human attitudes toward nonhuman animals are complex and quite contradictory. They can range between extremely negative (animal cruelty) to positive (treating companion animals like human surrogates). Attitudes toward animals are especially negative when people think about human creatureliness and personal mortality. Th is paper investigates people's attitudes toward highly valued animals (companion animals). Th e research presented here tested whether companion-animal caregivers would respond to reminders of human creatureliness and mortality salience (MS) with more negative attitudes toward pets. Participants completed an online survey in which MS and human-creatureliness conditions were manipulated. Results showed that, under MS, even pet owners responded to reminders of human creatureliness with less positive attitudes toward the average pet. Th us, the eff ects observed in previous research extend to more popular animals, even among people with presumably positive attitudes toward animals.

Submitter

Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2009
Publication Title Society and Animals
Volume 17
Issue 1
Pages 72-89
Publisher Brill
DOI 10.1163/156853009X393774
Language English
Notes This article is provided by Brill publishing house: http://www.brill.com/
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Activity
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animals in culture
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Attitudes
  6. Companion
  7. Human-animal relationships
  8. Mammals
  9. mortality
  10. Treatment of animals