Event Title

The Impact of Pet Ownership on Romantic Relationships

Poster Number

090

Faculty Mentor

Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Start Date

12-4-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

Researchers Cloutier and Peetz (2016) found that owning pets benefits romantic relationships by helping to foster a feeling of wellbeing and empathy among couples. Along with empathizing skills, pet ownership provides the opportunity to develop attachment, investment, and commitment skills. Our first hypothesis is that pet owners have more commitment in romantic relationships than non-pet owners. Our second hypothesis is that pet owners are able to express more commitment through actions of investment than non-pet owners while in romantic relationships. Our third hypothesis is that pet owners are more loyal and less likely to cheat in romantic relationships than non-pet owners. Our participants consisted of college students from Winthrop University as well as recruitments from social media contacts. We had our participants answer a survey consisting of a scenario section, seven measures, and a demographic section, totaling 68 questions. The scenarios were to manipulate the feelings of pet ownership. The measures are listed in order: likelihood of cheating, self-reported commitment felt in romantic relationships, current and previous number of pets, self-reported cheating history on significant other, time spent with pet(s), and experiences in past relationships. All of our hypotheses were found to not have significant results. From our findings, we cannot conclude any definitive answers. Our most predominant limitation was a lack of accurate representation of true non-pet owners. Participants were picked through convenience sampling, and the conditions were created by which scenario they received. We had four genuine non-pet owners out of 83 total participants.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2019

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 – Collins

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Apr 12th, 2:15 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

The Impact of Pet Ownership on Romantic Relationships

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Researchers Cloutier and Peetz (2016) found that owning pets benefits romantic relationships by helping to foster a feeling of wellbeing and empathy among couples. Along with empathizing skills, pet ownership provides the opportunity to develop attachment, investment, and commitment skills. Our first hypothesis is that pet owners have more commitment in romantic relationships than non-pet owners. Our second hypothesis is that pet owners are able to express more commitment through actions of investment than non-pet owners while in romantic relationships. Our third hypothesis is that pet owners are more loyal and less likely to cheat in romantic relationships than non-pet owners. Our participants consisted of college students from Winthrop University as well as recruitments from social media contacts. We had our participants answer a survey consisting of a scenario section, seven measures, and a demographic section, totaling 68 questions. The scenarios were to manipulate the feelings of pet ownership. The measures are listed in order: likelihood of cheating, self-reported commitment felt in romantic relationships, current and previous number of pets, self-reported cheating history on significant other, time spent with pet(s), and experiences in past relationships. All of our hypotheses were found to not have significant results. From our findings, we cannot conclude any definitive answers. Our most predominant limitation was a lack of accurate representation of true non-pet owners. Participants were picked through convenience sampling, and the conditions were created by which scenario they received. We had four genuine non-pet owners out of 83 total participants.