Are you a cat person or a dog person? The answer to that might impact your choice of a (potential) mate.
The experiment on an online dating site randomized the same male in two different photos, one holding a cat, one not. Women then “swiped” to show interest. The guy with the cat was considered less dateable and desirable for both short-term and long-term relationships. However, that finding was conditional on whether the woman considered herself a cat or dog person and —wait for it…yep, you guessed it: the female cat person liked the male cat person better.
This is about Identity and the values and goals that go with being a cat person. All other things equal (like the experiment) and when made salient (i.e. guy holding cat) we look to reinforce our values and sense of self by choosing somebody like us. How does this play out in charity world for an organization in the animal space?
Donors would willingly share their cat or dog identities if only asked. Alas, they rarely are and even if so, how often does the experience they receive from an organization change as a result?
Instead, the norm is we don’t ask, we don’t know and we thus, unknowingly turn off the cat person with dog content and vice versa. Kevin Schulman discusses how this could be avoidable if only we’d assign value to knowing.