Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 13 submissions in the queue.
posted by hubie on Wednesday November 15, @11:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the do-you-want-to-pet-my-kitty? dept.

The vast majority of dog and cat owners will say their pets enrich their lives in countless ways and bring immeasurable levels of extra happiness, but researchers from Michigan State University suggest that most pet owners may just be telling themselves what they want to hear. Their new study found that despite owners claiming pets improve their lives, researchers did not see a reliable association between pet ownership and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic:

The pandemic was a stressful time for everyone, to put it lightly. Even the most laid-back among us found themselves overwhelmed by the lockdowns and social distancing guidelines that dominated 2020. So, the research team at MSU theorized that the pandemic represented an ideal time to study just how much comfort and happiness pets really provide to their families.

In all, the study authors assessed a total of 767 people on three separate occasions in May 2020. The research team opted to adopt a mixed-method approach that allowed them to simultaneously assess several indicators of well-being, all while also asking participants to reflect on the role of pets from their point of view in an open-ended manner. Generally, pet owners predictably reported their pets made them happy. More specifically, they said their pets helped them feel more positive emotions and provided affection and companionship.

On the other hand, the participants also articulated the dark side of pet ownership, such as worries related to their pet's well-being or having their pets interfere with working remotely.

[...] "People say that pets make them happy, but when we actually measure happiness, that doesn't appear to be the case," says William Chopik, an associate professor in MSU's Department of Psychology and co-author of the study, in a university release. "People see friends as lonely or wanting companionship, and they recommend getting a pet. But it's unlikely that it'll be as transformative as people think."

As a lifetime pet owner who's had at least a dozen dogs over the years, I take umbrage with the study's findings. My dogs are always thrilled to see me when I arrive home from a long, tiring day of work, and taking them for a walk or just being in their presence immediately lifts my spirits. And I remember the calming effect petting a cat had for my ex-wife when she was pregnant and having a bad day.

Journal Reference:
Chopik, W. J., Oh, J., Weidmann, R., et al. (2023). The Perks of Pet Ownership? The Effects of Pet Ownership on Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672231203417


Original Submission

 
This discussion was created by hubie (1068) for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday November 16, @07:01PM (9 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday November 16, @07:01PM (#1333185)

    Well, what's really happening here is that the new truck is replacing the old truck _and_ the sedan... it will take a little while to let go of the sedan, but where it used to get 95%+ of the driving, now that's flipped and the truck is used 95%+ of the time - even though we've got a bumpy 1/4 mile driveway and air suspension in the sedan (very nice ride). That S430 gets 21mpg average, but also requires premium fuel, and insurance...

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday November 16, @08:02PM (8 children)

    by Reziac (2489) on Thursday November 16, @08:02PM (#1333196) Homepage

    And here I've been hunting for a little truck... not to replace the big truck, but so I can park in normal spots. :)

    --
    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Thursday November 16, @09:53PM (7 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday November 16, @09:53PM (#1333204)

      There's two Miatas in the stable for nimble parking duty.... had one since new in 1991, the other is a 99 we acquired around 2015 - pretty weird thinking we've owned that one for 8 years already. Put 'em together and you've got a 12mpg 4 seater.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday November 16, @11:32PM (6 children)

        by Reziac (2489) on Thursday November 16, @11:32PM (#1333212) Homepage

        [thinking] So, two half-a-cars? :)

        If I disable the governor on my riding mower, it'll do 60mph.... maybe a quarter-car :O

        [There's something that actually does not get good mileage, at least while working. About 8mpg.]

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday November 17, @01:53AM (5 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday November 17, @01:53AM (#1333223)

          Every time I consider an alt- vehicle like an eMotorcycle I inevitably compare it to the $2500 Miata and it just can't compare...

          Most trips we make are one or two people, so the half cars are just right for that.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday November 17, @02:16AM (4 children)

            by Reziac (2489) on Friday November 17, @02:16AM (#1333228) Homepage

            I used to do a lot of driving. (Los Angeles area, unavoidable.) Now... last year I only filled up the truck once. (38 gallons.) Mostly to the feed store and back, so that one-ton's capacity is a Good Thing...

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday November 17, @02:24AM (3 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday November 17, @02:24AM (#1333229)

              I used to daily drive the 1991 7 miles each way to/from work. I have been in to the office 6 times since initial lockdown in 2020, now I worry about the fuel in the tank getting old...

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday November 17, @03:01AM (2 children)

                by Reziac (2489) on Friday November 17, @03:01AM (#1333233) Homepage

                I stopped worrying about old gas after the old truck sat for a year and a half and started right up, and ran the same as ever.

                I buy ethanol-free for the small engines, tho. They seem to experience a lot more clogging and rubber-anything deterioration from eth-gas, and seem far less designed to cope with it. (Also found the mower that specifically says "don't use Premium" ran WAAAAAAY better, and longer per tank, on Premium, that being what eth-free is around here.)

                --
                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday November 17, @03:30AM (1 child)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday November 17, @03:30AM (#1333235)

                  I think ethanol contributed to the rust in my fuel filler pipe on the '99... I buy ethanol free for it.

                  --
                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday November 17, @03:57AM

                    by Reziac (2489) on Friday November 17, @03:57AM (#1333237) Homepage

                    Likely so.

                    And it does horrible things to unprotected rubber.

                    --
                    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.