According to a study by Denise Guastello at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, people who identify themselves as “dog people” and “cat people” have strikingly different personalities.
The results of the study were presented at the 26th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science and reported by LiveScience:
People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be more lively — meaning they were more energetic and outgoing — and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules.
And in a finding that’s sure to spark rivalries among pet owners, cat lovers scored higher on intelligence than dog lovers.
The researchers conducted a survey of 600 midwestern college students, asking whether they would identify themselves as dog lovers or cat lovers, and what qualities they found most attractive in their pets. They were also asked several questions in order to assess their personalities. About 60% of the participants identified themselves as “dog people” and only about 11% as “cat people”, with the remaining participants liking both or neither.
While this was a relatively small study, a similar study from 2010 with more than 4500 participants yielded similar results.