Trouble in paradise? Pictures of Cute Animals can be miraculous
Pictures of Cute Animals-Sounds incredibly ridiculous….isn’t it? But this is a proven fact. Almost all of us would agree that it’s not the sunshine every day. Every relationship has its own struggles but there is something you can definitely do about it. And guess what, that will help.
Struggling to stay happy in a relationship? Here, have some puppy or bunny pictures.
It may sound like a mere distraction, but a new study published this week in Psychological Science found that people who were shown photos of
puppies and bunnies next to a photo of their partner developed more positive associations with that partner.
A team of researchers, led by James K. McNulty of Florida State University, found that looking at pictures of cute animals, like puppies and bunnies, could do wonders for your relationship. This research was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, in part to help families dealing with long separations.
“I was asked to conceptualize and test a brief way to help married couples cope with the stress of separation and deployment,” study leader James K. McNulty said. “We would really like to develop a procedure that could help soldiers and other people in situations that are challenging for relationships.”
Pictures of Cute Animals
In order to do this, the researchers found 144 young (all under 40) married couples, who had been together less than five years. They were all an average of 28 years old, and a little less than half had kids.
For the first part of their study, the couples were asked to complete a few tests to see how satisfied they were in their relationships. Next, after a few days had gone by, they were sent to a lab so their “immediate, automatic attitudes toward their partner” could be measured.
For six weeks, the spouses were each individually shown a bunch of images once every three days. Within the stream of photos were photos of their partners.
Half of the spouses were shown “neutral” pictures. In other words, they were shown their partners mixed with boring things, like a button. The other half were shown positive pictures with those of their spouses, such as pictures of puppies or the word “wonderful.”
Every two weeks while the couples did this, they were also asked to check back in regarding their attitude toward their partner. When couples were evaluated at the end of the study, those who had been shown positive images had more positive associations with their partners and improved marriage quality.
“I was actually a little surprised that it worked,” McNulty says. “All the theory I reviewed on evaluative conditioning suggested it should, but existing theories of relationships and just the idea that something so simple and unrelated to marriage could affect how people feel about their marriage made me skeptical.”
It is obvious that puppies and bunnies are not a cure-all for all the hard times in a relationship. The best way to make things right is to make changes in your own behavior and talk it all out with your partner.
But it’s indeed cool to know that this isn’t the only way to change your attitude toward your partner. This also shows how the minimalistic things in your life happen to make a big difference.
And it’s just another excuse to look at cute puppies and bunnies. *wink*