The main aim of the two-stage studies was to establish the structure of the personality traits that are attributed to domestic animals by their owners. 1279 associations were collected in a qualitative study of 154 participants who described their domestic animals: dogs or cats. The lexical taxonomy of associations was performed by 7 judges. The frequency analysis allowed isolating 50 personality descriptors which are most often used by the owners describing their domestic animals. This adjective list was completed by 400 persons (age range: 15-85; 200 cat owners and 200 dog owners). A principal component analysis and a confirmatory factor analysis distinguished six dimensions: Energy, Intellect, Friendliness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Antisocial dimension. A structural equations analysis established that the structures of personality characteristics attributed to dogs, cats and self-rating of their owners were similar. A short scale, of good psychometric validity, was compiled for further studies on perceived personality of domestic animals.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.