The truth about cats and dogs

Further proof that psychologists will never run out of silly human quirks tostudy: According to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, cat and dog owners say their furry little friends' personalities bear a distinct resemblance to their own. Sociable individuals, for example, tend to describe their pets as more extroverted than other pets, while eggheads think their feline or canine companions are smarter than average. No wonder so many of us treat our pets like people, signing their pawprints to Christmas cards and proudly displaying their photos. Thankfully, the trend doesn't hold for a few personality traits, such as conscientiousness.

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While it's likely that pet owners are projecting their own personalities onto their pets, it could also be a case of the tail wagging the dog. Outgoing folks may simply prefer sociable breeds, suggests Berkeley's Samuel D. Gosling, M.A.; or perhaps pets get rewarded for behaving like their owners.

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Edited by Peter Doskoch

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