A new study managed to actually bring proof to the belief that looking at puppy images can have a positive effect on people. In doing so, it showed that this habit could actually help improve human relationships. It wasn’t only puppies that helped, bunny pictures were also noted to be useful.
Puppy Pictures to Help Improve the Mood?
Research on the matter was conducted by Florid State University researchers, led by James McNulty. The study’s primary target was to test and try to determine why some long-distance relationships break apart after some time. Or why industrialized countries have 30 percent to 50 percent divorce rates.
Study author took a novel approach in analyzing these statistics. They used their so-called “evaluative conditioning”. According to this, a person’s sense of satisfaction with their partner is influenced less by the particular person itself and more by outside factors.
For this reason, they studied the reactions to both negative and positive factors. While the first included things such as financial pressure, the latter included owning a pet.
“Psychologists have long known that misattribution processes can lead affect from one source to become associated with a different source,” stated the study authors.
So the researchers pretested a series of images, to figure out which had the most positive effect. This showed that puppy pictures, of photos of baby animals in general, have a positive effect.
Besides the baby animal pictures, the team also used “positive stimuli”, or example photographs with nature or sunsets. Or even used words such as “fabulous” or “wonderful”.
For the experiment itself, the researchers employed the help of 144 couples, all married for no more than 5 years and also under the age of 40. These were then split into two groups, one of the being asked to view the “positive stimuli” and puppy pictures, the other “neutral” stimuli.
After seeing the “positive” stimuli for 3 days over 6 weeks, members of the group had a more “positive automatic partner attitudes”. At least when compared to the control group. Even not necessarily happy combinations were noted to receive a small, positive boost when compared to the starting point of the experiment.
Study results are available in the journal Psychological Science.
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