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Relations among need for power, affect and attitudes toward animal cruelty

By J. C. Oleson, B. C. Henry

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Previous research has investigated the relationship between empathy with humans and attitudes toward animals. Developing a better understanding of this relationship, as well as other related variables, may assist in the prevention of antisocial behavior. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between sensitivity toward the mistreatment of animals, negative affect, and need for power. Participants were 198 Introductory Psychology students, 98 (49.5%) women and 100 (50.5%) men. They completed three questionnaires: the Need for Power (nPower) subscale of the Index of Personal Reactions (IPR); the Positive and Negative Affect Schedules-Expanded form (PANAS-X); and the Cruelty subscale of the Attitudes Toward the Treatment of Animals Scale (ATTAS). Results indicated that, among men, individual differences in the affect subscales of Sadness, Hostility, Fear, and Fatigue, in addition to nPower, were significantly correlated with cruelty attitudes. Linear regression showed that both Hostility and nPower emerged as significant predictors of cruelty attitudes. Further analyses revealed a significant Hostility x nPower interaction, with Hostility related to animal cruelty only among men with low nPower scores. Among women, only the affect subscale of Serenity was correlated with animal cruelty. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 22
Issue 3
Pages 255-265
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
Publisher Bloomsbury Journals (formerly Berg Journals)
DOI 10.2752/175303709X457595
Language English
Author Address Department of Psychology, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver, CO 80217,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Anthrozoology
  4. Attitudes
  5. Fatigue
  6. Guidelines
  7. Humans
  8. Mammals
  9. Men
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. Pests.
  12. predictions
  13. predictors
  14. prevention
  15. Primates
  16. Psychiatry and psychology
  17. psychological well-being
  18. Questionnaires
  19. recommendations
  20. Social psychology and social anthropology
  21. students
  22. therapeutics
  23. therapy
  24. tiredness
  25. vertebrates
  26. Women
  1. peer-reviewed