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Does visual exposure to one's pet regulate stress levels during the mental arithmetic task? [post]

Natalie Ein
2021 unpublished
This thesis examined the role of viewing a picture of one's pet as a mechanism for alleviating the symptoms of stress. The mental arithmetic task (MAT), a psychosocial stressor was used to induce stress. Participants were randomly assigned into one of six visual conditions: either a picture of their personal pet (n = 9), an unfamiliar animal (n = 9), a person who is supportive and important to the participant (n = 9), an unfamiliar person to the participant (n =8), a pleasant image (control 1)
more » ... image (control 1) (n = 8) or no image (control 2) (n = 8). Stress reactivity, both physical (e.g., blood pressure) and subjective (self-reported anxiety), were measured. Findings indicated that contrary to the hypothesis, viewing a picture of one's personal pet did not reduce stress reactivity, measured either subjectively (self-report) or objectively (physiological assessment). However, the study suggests that various images can influence stress reactivity.
doi:10.32920/ryerson.14657019.v1 fatcat:t2sqclfgovfzzdevjsr7j4e5m4