Which one are you?
There are four types of people in this world: those who love cats, those who love dogs, those who love both, and those who love neither (and thus, have not experienced the joys of cuddling with a furry creature).
There are great psychological and emotional health benefits to owning a pet, but as science is all about questioning everything, why do some people prefer cats over dogs and vice versa? Several studies indicate a difference in psychological profiles, and found that cat lovers are smarter, whereas dog lovers are happier.
Researchers from Carroll University analyzed 600 students, and asked them if they preferred either cats or dogs, and what qualities in their pets they love most, according to a Huffington Post article. The participants also took personality and intelligence tests.
Sixty percent of the participants preferred dogs, 11 percent cats, and the rest either both or neither. The cat lovers scored higher on intelligence tests than the dog lovers.
The researchers found that characteristic personalities may contribute to this preference. Dog lovers tend to be livelier, energetic, and outgoing as well as a strict follower of rules. Meanwhile, cat lovers tend to be more introverted, open-minded and sensitive, and prefer to go with their own flow rather than follow the rules.
One of the researchers, Denise Guastello, says that the matching personalities make sense, because "a dog person is going to be more lively... they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog... Whereas, if you’re more introverted and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk."
The study, however, was limited to college-aged students, and the results are unknown for any other age group. But while cat lovers are smarter, dog lovers are happier.
Researchers at Manhattanville College in New York gathered 263 participants between the ages of 19 and 68. They answered questions about pet ownership, their personality, and their own well-being.
Not only did pet owners report more satisfaction than non-pet owners, but dog owners scored higher in terms of well-being and reported more happiness than cat owners.
Researcher Katherine Jacobs Bao said that "dog owners were significantly more conscientious and less neurotic than cat owners... [They] were marginally more extroverted and agreeable than cat owners."
So, which one are you?