Presentation Title

Puppy power: Can dogs benefit human work groups?

Location

Guzman Lecture Hall

Start Date

4-19-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

4-19-2018 4:00 PM

Department

Psychology

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor

Veronica Fruiht, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The phrase “man’s best friend” has been used to describe the complementary relationship between humans and their canine counterparts. The presence of a companion dog can have beneficial implications for humans in terms of health. Benefits include an elevated awareness for your own need to exercise and relax and a reduction in the ostracizing feelings that can stem from anxiety and depression (Chur-Hansen et al., 2014). Previous research has also shown that companion dogs promote human interaction in neighborhood life by stimulating bonds of trust between dog owners (Greenbaum, 2014). With the ability to facilitate healthier liaisons between individuals, dogs have potential value in various environments – such as the workplace and on teams. The goal of the present study is to determine the extent to which dogs affect small work groups, specifically how they influence collaboration.

Participants in this study consisted of 50 individuals enrolled at a private, liberal arts institution, located in Northern California. Participants were divided into either a dog-present or dog-absent work group and given ten minutes to complete a deductive reasoning task. Upon completion of the task participants were asked to complete a survey consisting of questions derived from the Group Collective Efficacy Scale (Petitta, Jiang & Palange, 2015) and the Comprehensive Assessment of team Member Effectiveness -- Short Version (Loughry, Ohland, Moore, 2007). This study is expected to show the differences between dog-present and dog-absent groups regarding collaboration between group members, the amount of time it takes to complete the task, and individual perception surrounding the group’s ability to complete a given task. This research is expected to support previous evidence that asserts that dogs will have positive effects on humans and give insight into how animals can be used to increase group cohesion and success.

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Puppy power: Can dogs benefit human work groups?

Guzman Lecture Hall

The phrase “man’s best friend” has been used to describe the complementary relationship between humans and their canine counterparts. The presence of a companion dog can have beneficial implications for humans in terms of health. Benefits include an elevated awareness for your own need to exercise and relax and a reduction in the ostracizing feelings that can stem from anxiety and depression (Chur-Hansen et al., 2014). Previous research has also shown that companion dogs promote human interaction in neighborhood life by stimulating bonds of trust between dog owners (Greenbaum, 2014). With the ability to facilitate healthier liaisons between individuals, dogs have potential value in various environments – such as the workplace and on teams. The goal of the present study is to determine the extent to which dogs affect small work groups, specifically how they influence collaboration.

Participants in this study consisted of 50 individuals enrolled at a private, liberal arts institution, located in Northern California. Participants were divided into either a dog-present or dog-absent work group and given ten minutes to complete a deductive reasoning task. Upon completion of the task participants were asked to complete a survey consisting of questions derived from the Group Collective Efficacy Scale (Petitta, Jiang & Palange, 2015) and the Comprehensive Assessment of team Member Effectiveness -- Short Version (Loughry, Ohland, Moore, 2007). This study is expected to show the differences between dog-present and dog-absent groups regarding collaboration between group members, the amount of time it takes to complete the task, and individual perception surrounding the group’s ability to complete a given task. This research is expected to support previous evidence that asserts that dogs will have positive effects on humans and give insight into how animals can be used to increase group cohesion and success.