Attitude to animals and empathy : comparing animal protection and general community samples
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Tania SignalTania Signal, Nicola TaylorNicola Taylor
Although a number of studies have examined a range of demographic and personality variables that may impact upon attitudes towards the treatment of non-human species little consensus has been reached within the literature. The aim of the current study was to evaluate and assess levels of human-directed empathy and attitudes towards the treatment of animals in two diverse populations, namely the general community (n=543) and those within the animal protection field (n=389). Both groups of participants completed the Attitude towards the Treatment of Animals Scale (AAS) and the Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), a measure of human-directed empathy. Comparisons between the two samples indicated that those within the animal protection community scored more highly on both the animal attitude and human-directed empathy measures. Correlational analyses revealed a positive relation between AAS and IRI scores for both samples whilst the strength of the correlation was greater for those within the animal protection sample. These findings are discussed.