School of Behavioral Sciences
Master of Science in Psychology (MS)
Animal, Emotions, Intervention, Positive, Attention
Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
McIntosh, Alexis D., "Animal Assisted Intervention and How It Can Improve Attention and Positive Emotion" (2021). Masters Theses. 709.
The purpose of this study is to determine if animal-assisted intervention, known as ATT, can improve a person's attention span and assist with a better emotional state. In this study, attention is being measured by a facial recognition attention task, and emotional state is being measured by a portion of the Watson and Clark (1994) Emotional State-Adult Protocol. Animals may not have words with which to communicate; however, they can, and do, respond to emotional distress when they have been correctly trained. There have been numerous studies in which this kind of therapy has successfully helped a client to improve in several ways. However, there has been little to no research on how it can affect attention and emotions. This study investigates the hypothesis that animal-assisted therapy and intervention can help people with their attention and emotional state. This study will explore if animal-assisted therapy and intervention can bring about better awareness and more positive emotions in individuals. The current hypothesis is that that, while scores will vary, in the participants who did not receive the intervention or had use of their phones, the post-intervention scores will be equal to or less than the pre-intervention scores, excluding the stress scores. In the group where the participants were able to use their phone and received the intervention and the participants who received the intervention but were not allowed the use of their phones, the hypothesis is that the post-intervention scores will be higher than the pre-intervention scores, and the negative emotional scores will be lower or the same after the animal intervention, with the exclusion of the stress scores; meaning that while the stress scores will vary, they will be more unpredictable.