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The effect of the presence of a companion-animal on physiological changes following the termination of cognitive stressors

By Lesley R. DeMello

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Determined the effect of the presence of an unknown friendly pet on physiological measures of normotensive adults following the termination of a cognitive stressor, using a repeated measures design. Unlike most of the past research, the Ss in the present study included both male and female adults, pet owners and non-owners and those with positive and neutral attitudes towards pets. In addition, traditional and non-traditional unfamiliar pets were employed, to determine any difference in the effect of cardiovascular responses. The sample population consisted of 50 normotensive adults (aged 26–50 yrs). Ss were told that there would be 3 tasks to complete, with a rest period following each. Results indicate that cardiovascular measures reduced significantly more during conditions where a pet was present and visual interaction only was allowed. Furthermore, results show that the mere presence of an unknown friendly pet, traditional or non-traditional, can significantly reduce physiological arousal in normotensive adults, following termination of a cognitive stressor, regardless of gender, general pet attitude, and subjective reports. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Publication Title Psychology & Health
Volume 14
Issue 5
Pages 859-868
ISBN/ISSN 0887-04461476-8321
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/08870449908407352
Tags
  1. Cardiovascular health
  2. Cognition
  3. Human sex differences
  4. Interspecies interactions
  5. Pet ownership
  6. Pets and companion animals
  7. physiology
  8. Stress
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed