Volume 11

The Effects of Viewing Pet Images on Stress Reduction in Humans

Catherine M. Burke and Eileen A. Velasquez

The goal of this study was to investigate whether viewing pet images reduced anxiety. One hundred and two undergraduate students participated in the study. Phase 1 of the study consisted of gathering the baseline anxiety measure. In Phase 2, participants were exposed to a live tarantula. They then completed the second anxiety measure. In phase 3, participants were introduced to one of three experimental conditions (pet, nature, or no imagery) after which they completed the final anxiety measure and the demographics questionnaire. While anxiety changes over time (anxiety increased between Time 1 and 2 and decreased between Time 2 and 3), anxiety did not change as a result of the experimental manipulation (type of imagery).

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