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A companion animal in a simulated work setting : the roles of task difficulty and pet ownership on stress reduction

By Anna Hall Stewart

Category Theses
Abstract

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.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2010
Pages 64
Publisher California State University Sacramento
Department Psychology
Degree Master of Arts
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10211.9/703
Language English
University California State University Sacramento
Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Anxiety
  3. Dogs
  4. Environment
  5. Human-animal bond
  6. Mammals
  7. Pet ownership
  8. Pets and companion animals
  9. Physiological Stress
  10. Psychiatry and psychology
  11. Psychological stress
  12. Relaxation
  13. Research
  14. Stress