Anthropomorphism as a special case of social perception: Across-species social relations model analysis of humans and dogs

Virginia S.Y. Kwan, Samuel D. Gosling, Oliver P. John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Animal studies once pervaded the field of social psychology, but over the last half century focus on this topic has faded. Here we argue that animal studies can still usefully contribute to several areas of social psychology. Two studies implemented a new cross-species comparative approach to compare human-to-human perceptions with human-to-dog perceptions. Our findings show that people's projection of their self-views or their views of others onto dogs are no stronger than their projections onto other humans. Findings also illuminate how appearance-based stereotypes affect perceptions of domestic dogs. The present research provides a conceptual and empirical paradigm for future research on human perceptions of animals of both the human and nonhuman variety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-142
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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