Relating low perceived control and attitudes toward animal training: An exploratory study

Matthew G. Chin, Valerie K. Sims, Heather C. Lum, Mary Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The goal of the current study was to examine the relationship between perceived control and views of animal training practices. Four hundred and thirty-seven participants completed a measure of perceived control in caregiving situations (Parent Attribution Test) and a 55-item questionnaire assessing attitudes toward a variety of animal training techniques used with dogs, circus animals, and livestock. A factor analysis of the items on the animal training questionnaire revealed three main factors: general use of physical punishment, withholding food and/or whipping, and using electrical shocks. Stepwise regression analyses were used to examine potential predictors of the tendency to endorse these three general types of animal training techniques. Significant predictors of the general use of punishment included gender, perceived control, experience with obedience school, and education level. Withholding of food and/or whipping were predicted by gender, with males more likely to endorse such practices. Significant predictors of electrical shock included gender and perceived control, with males and those with a lower perceived control more likely to endorse the treatment. Overall, the data suggest that perceived control in a caregiving situation may be an important predictor of attitudes toward animal training techniques involving punishment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-269
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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