Presented research deals with the issue of influence of contacting an animal on the level of stress perceived by human subjects as well as on performance level in a given task. There were 60 high school students participating in the study (33 women and 27 men). Their lower and upper blood pressure was measured and their behaviour was observed through two-ways mirror. The observation was meant to examine whether they took the opportunity to interact with an animal (rabbit or cat) or a mascot-cat. Participants were also asked to fill in two tests: Toulouse-Pieron attention test and the Square Test of visual-spatial intelligence (a subscale of a general intelligence battery APIS-Z). Results indicate significant influence of contacting an animal on physiological arousal among women, i.e. women that participated in the study and contacted the animal had significantly lower blood pressure than those playing with the teddy bear or those having no interaction. This effect was not detected in men.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.