Bridging the Gap between Personality-Social Psychology and Human-Animal Interaction Research

1Anthony E. Coy & 2Christopher J. Holden

1University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
2Appalachian State University

Personality and social psychology are two of the broadest subfields within psychology. Social psychology extends into areas such as perception and cognition while providing more unique contributions in specific domains such as close relationships and aggression. Personality cuts across all areas of psychology to provide a stronger understanding of individual differences within each. Although a few leading researchers in these areas have explored elements of human-animal interactions, many researchers continue to overlook and undervalue what is a common source of social interaction present in the vast majority of households – animals and pets (The American Pet Products Association, 2016). Indeed, a review of the programs for the SPSP Annual Convention dating back to 2015 found only 20 presentations that were specific to human-animal interactions (The Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2019). Likewise, research in this area is equally sparse in the major social and personality journals during the same timeframe.

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Keywords: animals, human-animal interactions, personality, Pets, Social Psychology
Posted in Volume 8, No. 3