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Chapter VI: Conclusions

Since 1959, the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novisibirsk, Russia has attempted to domesticate the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, in order to better understand the domestication of the dog, Canis familiaris, from the gray wolf, Canis lupus. The criteria for breeding foxes were those that consistently displayed tame behavior with respect to people. Within just 10 generations of selectively bred foxes, the animals began to show dramatic changes within their behavior, communication, development, physiology, reproduction, and anatomy, demonstrating a genetically domesticated breed of fox. The ICG has since commercialized the Farm-Fox Experiment and offers domesticated foxes for sale as pets (Trut 1999).

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Chapter V: Discussion

The results of this study revealed participant attitudes toward dogs and domesticated foxes in regards to pet ownership, breeding ethics, and ownership legality.

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IV: Test of Hypotheses

Hypothesis 1: Pet Dogs Compared to Pet Domesticated Foxes

a. Attitudes toward dogs and pet-dog ownership (Pet Dog Attitude Score) will be more positive than attitudes toward domesticated foxes and pet domesticated fox ownership (Pet Fox Attitude Score).

Attitudes toward dogs and pet-dog ownership (Pet Dog Attitude Score,) (M = 4.48, SD = 1.0,) were more positive than attitudes toward domesticated foxes and pet domesticated fox ownership (Pet Fox Attitude Score,) (M = 3.48, SD = 1.45).

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Chapter IV: Results

Pet Dogs Compared to Pet Domesticated Foxes

Inter-item reliability was calculated for Items 7-14 of Section II measuring participant attitudes toward dogs as pets and Items 17-24 of Section III measuring participant attitudes toward domesticated foxes as pets. Cronbach alphas showed strong inter-item consistency, 0.93 and 0.92, respectively. The combined 16 items had inter-item reliability of 0.93. Items 7-14 were summed to find a participant’s Pet Dog Attitude Score and Items 17-24 were summed to find a participant’s Pet Fox Attitude Score.

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Chapter III: Methodology

Participants

This study utilized a sample of 97 undergraduate students enrolled in introductory psychology classes at Texas State University located in San Marcos, Texas. The students within these classes were given the option to participate in the study for optional extra credit within the class.

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