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Interaction with Caged Budgerigars (Melopsittacus Undulatus) Enhances Human Affect

By Autumn G. Jones, Alexander J. Skolnick, Matthew J. Anderson

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Abstract

Research interest in the benefits of human–animal interaction (HAI) has grown within the scientific community. One current limitation in the HAI literature however, is that the majority of research focuses on the beneficial effects of dogs and cats, paying less attention to other species commonly kept as pets, such as birds. In the present study, 88 participants were asked to read aloud to a live bird, a toy bird with sound and motion, a toy bird without sound and motion, or an empty cage (n = 22 for each group). Affect scores, heart rate and blood pressure were taken before and after the session and scores from a questionnaire regarding pet ownership and bird experience were collected. Results indicated that interactions with a live bird maintain positive affect while significantly decreasing negative affect. Overall, this study demonstrated a clear affective benefit to interactions with birds, but more research is warranted onto the effects of interaction with under-studied pet animals beyond dogs and cats.

Date 2021
Publication Title Anthrozoƶs
Volume 34
Issue 1
Pages 127-138
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/08927936.2021.1874113
URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08927936.2021.1874113
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Affect
  2. Birds
  3. Blood Pressure
  4. Heart rate
  5. Human-animal interactions
  6. open access
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  1. open access