Ethical ideology, animal rights activism, and attitudes toward the treatment of animals

Galvin, S.L.; Herzog, H.A.

Ethics and Behavior 2(3): 141-149


ISSN/ISBN: 1050-8422
PMID: 11651362
DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0203_1
Accession: 045996849

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In two studies, we used the Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ) to investigate the relationship between individual differences in moral philosophy, involvement in the animal rights movement, and attitudes toward the treatment of animals. In the first, 600 animal rights activists attending a national demonstration and 266 nonactivist college students were given the EPQ. Analysis of the returns from 157 activists and 198 students indicated that the activists were more likely than the students to hold an "absolutist" moral orientation (high idealism, low relativism). In the second study, 169 students were given the EPQ with a scale designed to measure attitudes toward the treatment of animals. Multiple regression showed that gender and the EPQ dimension of idealism were related to attitudes toward animal use.