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Investigating Differences in Gender Identity, Empathy and Personality Between Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians

Figueredo, Elizabeth Villazon (2021) Investigating Differences in Gender Identity, Empathy and Personality Between Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Research aims : Given the current rise of vegetarianism in Western society (Statistics. , 2020). The current research aimed to further understand psychological differences between vegetarians and non-vegetarians, including personality, empathy and gender identity.

Method: Participants were recruited through social media using opportunistic snowball sampling (N=223, 65 males, 155 females, 2 other), and completed an online survey containing demographic information, Interpersonal Reactivity Sexism Inventory, The Big Five Short Questionnaire, The Bem Sex Inventory.

Results: T-Test results found no overall differences in personality, empathy or gender identity scores, however, posthoc analysis yielded interesting findings. In the female category, vegetarians scored higher in empathy than non-vegetarians. Male vegetarians scored higher in femininity and androgyny. ANOVA results found no mediating effect of masculinity on empathy levels across males.

Discussion: Hegemonic masculinity may not be as prevalent in today’s society. Experience with oppression may be an additional mediating factor in predicting animal activism. Differences in empathy are more complex than previously thought, introducing cognitive dissonance as a
potential mediating factor. Vegans may have more psychological motivations and differences than vegetarians which may have affected the results of the study.

Implications: the present study discussed the need for personal awareness that unintentional gender stereotype in daily activities, the need for gender-specific methods for programmes aiming to reduce public consumption of meat. Finally, the suggestion was made to public and school educational policies on reinforcing and providing information on the risks of a diet heavy in red and processed meats, and teaching developing teenagers how to cook and eat a healthy diet.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 12:34
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 13:28

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