Additionally, images of animals alone immediately increased attitudes regarding treatment of animals. This difference does not appear to increase further over time. Images of animals alone appear to aid in immediately altering individuals' sense of continuity with animals. The attitude that animals and humans share some commonalities and exist in relation to each other could assist in adoption campaigns by allowing the potential owners to place themselves with the animals they are adopting. However, over time information combined with images of humans and animals significantly increase this sense of commonality. The applications for the results depend on what type of attitude one desires to change and how soon the change has to occur. The present research reveals that images appear to affect attitude change regarding companion animals and the way they are treated more than text information.; Companion animals now serve as more than tools for human use, they have become family. Many individuals now spend increasingly more money on animals than in years past and are more likely to acknowledge the animal as a family member. With this change in roles many humans have become more empathetic to animal cruelty. Studies have been conducted to examine various aspects of animal cruelty and how it relates to humans. However, few have examined attitude change regarding animal abuse. If attitudes can be positively changed in adults, these individuals are in a position to pass the information onto their children. Adults are also currently in the position to make changes in legislature regarding humane treatment of animals. An experiment was conducted which examined adults' attitudes toward animal abuse and whether they can be changed. Text information was examined as a variable for attitude change. Additionally visual aids in the form of photographs were used in conjunction with and separate from the text information as variables. Two types of photographs were used: images of companion animals by themselves or the same animals accompanied by adult humans. The text information used was adapted from an ASPCA presentation obtained, with permission, from the Orange County ASPCA. The power point presentation included information on the connection between animal violence and violence toward humans, how to help stop animal cruelty and how to report it. Six conditions were created using the three variables. It was found that pictures have an immediate effect on attitude change and information affects individuals in certain measures but not others. On all measures, images had more of an effect than information alone. Only when the text was accompanied by a picture, did it produce a significant change. Attitudes regarding the treatment of animals saw an immediate increase in both conditions in which images of humans and animals were present.


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Thesis Completion





Chin, Matthew


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program



Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Included in

Psychology Commons