Those that find Nemo also often find happiness

Those that find Nemo also often find happiness

Those that find Nemo also often find happiness

John Von Radowitz, London

October 28, 2007

The Age

PETS can provide a good indication of their owners’ personalities, a study has shown.

People who have dogs tend to be cheerful, while cat lovers are dependable and emotional, and reptile owners independent.

But no one is happier than a keeper of tropical fish, according to the research. Fish owners stand out as the most content, said Professor Richard Wiseman, who led the study.

Almost 60 per cent were convinced their fish had personalities.

The research reveals pets’ personalities often mirror those of their owners.

“If you ask someone walking their dog what personality their dog has, they’re likely to give away a lot about themselves,” Professor Wiseman said.

Studies have shown pet owners often show a physical resemblance to their pets.

“This work suggests that they may also think alike,” said Professor Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire. “This similarity increased over time, suggesting pets may adopt their owner’s personality, or vice versa.”

More than 2000 owners were invited to give details about both their own and their pets’ personalities via a psychological questionnaire posted on a website.

“Part of it is that people choose animals that reflect their own personality from the start,” he said.

“However, there might be more to it. There’s evidence that over time personality is contagious.

“If you live with a neurotic person for 20 years, you’re likely to become neurotic yourself. The same might apply to pet owners.”