The development of a psychometric scale for the evaluation of the emotional predispositions of pet dogs

Sheppard, Gill and Mills, Daniel (2002) The development of a psychometric scale for the evaluation of the emotional predispositions of pet dogs. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 15 (2/3). pp. 201-222. ISSN 0889-3667

Full content URL: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0p20v7f0

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Many pet dogs exhibit problem behaviours which can be corrected through the judicious use
of positive and negative reinforcers in training. However, animals often vary in their sensitivity
and response to these. It is hypothesised that this variation may offer a biological basis for
discriminating between animals that develop certain types of problems (eg fears and phobias) and
their response to treatment. The development of a clinical tool that uses owner report to measure
individual differences in positive and negative activation in pet dogs is described. The activation
scales each measured a single homogeneous construct and effectively differentiated between
individuals, demonstrating variation on two dimensions. Test-retest reliability was good and the
study provided evidence of validity. Normative data were calculated and may be used in future
research that could provide further evidence of validity and in investigations of the underlying
structure of canine behaviour disorders. The final scales comprised of 21 items, and so can be
administered with little difficulty.

Keywords:domestic dog, assessment, psychometric tool, Emotion in animals
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:11994
Deposited On:30 Sep 2013 11:39

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