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Empathy and attitudes to animals
There is increasing support for the idea that human attitudes to animals may be indicative of human-human empathy. This has implications for the treatment of empathy deficits and related anti-social behaviors. The purpose of the present study was to explicitly investigate links between human-human empathy and attitudes to animals. The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and Animal Attitude Scale (AAS) were administered to 194 undergraduate Sociology and Psychology students. A significant correlation between empathy levels, gender, companion animal ownership and attitudes to animals was found. Implications of these findings are discussed.