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A 12-item Animal-Human Continuity Scale with a Likert-type 7-option format was constructed to measure the extent to which the respondent views humans and animals in a dichotomous fashion vs. on a continuum. After the generation of items on a rational basis, item selection was based on ratings of content validity followed by item-total score correlation based on a sample of 88 graduate students, faculty and university staff participants. The scale contained such items as “Humans can think but animals cannot”, “People evolved from lower animals”, and “People have a spiritual nature but animals do not”. A Cronbach's alpha of .69 was obtained. The scale yielded three factors– “rational capacity”, “superiority vs. equality”, and “evolutionary continuum”. More traditionally religious participants tended to respond in the dichotomous direction. In another validation project a significant difference in the expected direction was found for participants from a Unitarian Universalist church (in the continuous direction) and a conservative Methodist church (dichotomous direction). Implications for the use of this instrument in the measurement of individual differences are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.7.769

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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