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Attitudes towards animal use and belief in animal mind

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Animals are used by humans in many ways, yet science has paid little attention to the study of human-animal relationships (Melson 2002). In the present study participants (n= 96) completed a questionnaire on attitudes towards animal use and individual differences were examined to determine which characteristics might underlie these attitudes (‘belief in animal mind’, age, gender, experience of animals, vegetarianism, political stance, and living area). It emerged that participants held different views for different types of animal use, and that belief in animal mind (BAM) was a powerful and consistent predictor of these attitudes, with BAM together with gender and vegetarianism predicting up to 37% of the variance in attitudes towards animal use. Thus future research should acknowledge the importance of BAM as a major underlying factor of attitudes towards animal use, and should also distinguish between different types of animal use when measuring attitudes. We proposed that the large effect of BAM might be due to increasing interest in animal mind over the past decade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-62
Number of pages20
JournalAnthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

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