The Feline Temperament Study

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You’ve more than likely heard someone refer to themselves as being more right-brained and having a more artistic view of the world. Perhaps you have heard someone say they are more intelligent and extremely introverted due to them being left hand dominant. There are a plethora of articles and online quizzes that focus on brain lateralization within humans. But how, if at all, does this affect the furry creatures in our lives, specifically house cats?
Louise J McDowell, Deborah L Wells, Peter G Hepper, Martin Dempster had the hypothesis that there is a connection between cat’s lateral paw preference and their temperament. To put their hypothesis to test they studied a population of 107 domestic house cats to determine their paw preference.
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The Feline Temperament Profile is a standardized test which assesses the behavioral responses of cats in different test situations. It is designed to measure a cat’s emotional reactions to a series of interactions with an unfamiliar person. The test has10 phases that the experimenter, who the cats are unfamiliar with, carries out a series of interactions ranging from calling the animal’s name to picking the cat up and stroking it. They measured their reactions as acceptable; makes eye contact, approaches the experimenter, let’s the experimenter hold them, etc., and unacceptable; avoids eye contact, retreats from experimenter, becomes aggressive with the experimenter, etc. (McDowell et al.,…show more content…
It also goes into great detail about the different methods of conducting said research. It discusses how in psychological experiments they start with a theory, a broad explanation and prediction concerning phenomena of interest (Feldman, 2013), that can turn into a hypothesis. When you take this hypothesis, and make it so that it can be measured you have your operational definition. The psychologists in “Lateral Bias and Temperament in the Domestic Cat” study took a theory, created a hypothesis and then were able to test that. The textbook explains that a case study is a type of psychological research that is more in depth and focuses on an individual or a small group of people. If you replace the world people with domestic housecats you can see that it was a case study. Also, contained within chapter two is a description of survey research. This is source the psychologists utilize when they have the owners of the cats fill out questionnaires about the cats’ behavior (Feldman,
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