Friends, food or worth fighting for? A proposed stereotype content model for nonhuman animals

Patinadan, Paul Victor, and Dillon, Denise (2022) Friends, food or worth fighting for? A proposed stereotype content model for nonhuman animals. Human–Animal Interactions, 2022 (December). 23.

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The human perception of nonhuman animals is a burgeoning area of anthrozoology, with the past decade seeing an increase in work within the field. This study attempted to assess people’s social perceptions about various nonhuman animals. Food animals, for example, have often been classified as being less sentient and have been historically devoid of rights and moral concern due to their nature as a consumable commodity. Advancements in social psychology have allowed the general hypothesis that some key theories might be transferrable toward understanding how people perceive animals. This study borrows from work on the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) and attempts to replicate the social perceptions of animals along the warmth-competence dimensions among a Singaporean sample (N = 325) of vegetarians, animal activists, and those who regarded themselves as neither. Ratings on the scales of warmth and competence for 16 animals were subjected to multidimensional scaling analysis. Results indicate people hold different social perceptions congruent to the various animal species. Four main clusters were identified, and these were named, ‘Love’, ‘Save’, ‘Indifferent’, and ‘Dislike’ based on the expectancy of how participants might feel toward the animals. The ethical ideology of participants was also measured, with vegetarians and animal activists holding more ‘absolutist’ beliefs. When factored into the scaling process, ethical ideology had little impact on participants’ social perceptions of nonhuman animals.

Item ID: 77347
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2957-9538
Keywords: warmth-competence, stereotype content model, nonhuman animals, morality, food consumption
Copyright Information: © The Authors 2022. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long the use is non-commercial and you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
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Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2023 03:11
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1399 Other culture and society > 139999 Other culture and society not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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