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Effect of Tranquil and Active Video Representations of an Unfamiliar Dog on Subjective Mental States

In: Society & Animals
Authors:
Natalie Ein Department of Psychology, Ryerson University Toronto, Ontario Canada

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Maureen J. Reed Department of Psychology, Ryerson University Toronto, Ontario Canada

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Kristin Vickers Department of Psychology, Ryerson University Toronto, Ontario Canada

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Abstract

The aim of this pilot study was to examine the effects of different videos of an unfamiliar dog (tranquil and active) on subjective mental state measures. All participants watched two videos of an unfamiliar dog (tranquil and active). Subjective measures of stress, anxiety, alertness, attention, likeability, and cuteness were assessed. The results showed that the tranquil dog video significantly decreased anxiety only. Additionally, the active dog video significantly decreased stress and anxiety. Across the videos, the results showed the active dog video significantly improved subjective alertness and attention when compared with the tranquil dog video. Lastly, the active dog video was rated more likeable and cuter relative to the tranquil dog video. The practical implications of these findings could include how to improve various subjective mental states for humans in public settings (e.g., hospital) where nonhuman animals are not always allowed.

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