Developing an objective measure of knowledge of factory farming

Philosophical Psychology 37 (2) (2022)
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Knowledge of human uses of animals is an important, but understudied, aspect of how humans treat animals. We developed a measure of one kind of knowledge of human uses of animals – knowledge of factory farming. Studies 1 (N = 270) and 2 (N = 270) tested an initial battery of objective, true or false statements about factory farming using Item Response Theory. Studies 3 (N = 241) and 4 (N = 278) provided evidence that responses to a 10-item Knowledge of Factory Farming Scale predicted a reduction in consumption of animal products (rs = −.17- −.27) and approval of political actions aimed at factory farming (rs = .2 – .24). Path models from Studies 3 and 4 suggested that different kinds of knowledge uniquely predicted different outcomes. The Knowledge of Factory Farming scale was a unique predictor of approval of political actions concerning factory farmed animals but not animal consumption. Knowledge of Animals Used as Food predicted animal consumption but not political actions concerning farmed animals. These results highlight that different kinds of knowledge can be relevant for different animal related outcomes.

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Author Profiles

Jacob N. Caton
Arkansas State University
Mylan Engel Jr
Northern Illinois University
L. Syd M Johnson
SUNY Upstate Medical University
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