The benefits of human-animal interactions have been explored in the literature, documenting positive physiological and psychological outcomes for humans. This experiment sought to extend research in this area by studying three variables that have never been examined together within a laboratory setting: task difficulty (moderate or extreme), the human-animal interaction (present or absent), and participants' pet ownership to determine whether a companion animal can reduce self-reported state anxiety. The participants were 128 undergraduate psychology students from California State University, Sacramento who performed timed written tasks either with or without the presence of a companion dog. Spielberger's state and trait anxiety measures were administered to measure stress response to the performance of the tasks. Results indicated that while the mere presence of a dog does not lower state anxiety for all participants, a complex interaction of factors can produce significantly lower state anxiety in a work-like environment.
|Publisher||California State University Sacramento|
|Degree||Master of Arts|
|University||California State University Sacramento|