Research by a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin found that those who define themselves as “dog people” are more extroverted, agreeable, and conscientious than self-described “cat people.” On the other hand “cat people” tend to be more open and neurotic.
“This research suggests there are significant differences on major personality traits between dog people and cat people,” said Sam Gosling, who conducted the study with graduate student Carson Sandy, in a release of the study. “Given the tight psychological connections between people and their pets, it is likely that the differences between dogs and cats may be suited to different human personalities.”
As part of the research, 4,565 volunteers were asked whether they were dog people, cat people, neither, or both. The same group was given a 44-item assessment that measured them on the so-called Big Five personality dimensions psychologists often use to study personalities.
The study found that 46% of respondents described themselves as dog people, while 12% said they were cat people. Almost 28% said they were both and 15% said they were neither.
Dog people were about 15% more extroverted, 13% more agreeable, 11% more conscientious than cat people. Cat people were generally about 12% more neurotic and 11% more open than dog people.