Teddies Make People Share

Feeling as though we belong is important for our mental and physical wellbeing. Social exclusion hurts and it darkens our mood. Unfortunately, this sets up a vicious circle because we’re then less likely to engage in friendly, prosocial acts, and so less likely to form new bonds with others. A new study documents an effective way to break this cycle – excluded people should touch a teddy bear. Seriously.

via BPS Research Digest: Feeling socially excluded? Try touching a teddy bear (seriously).

People in the study were first set up to feel excluded (a bit nasty that) and then told to rate teddy bears either at a distance or by holding them. Afterward the participants were asked questions about sharing and volunteering. Those who’d held the teddy were more generous and open-hearted.

So at the next peace conference or economic summit, stuffies should be distributed. In the meantime I will take a note from my children, and make sure to spend a few minutes of stuffie holding time today. I have a fine collection, if smaller by some order of magnitude, than theirs.

Do you have a favourite stuffie? Mine is an elephant.


2 thoughts on “Teddies Make People Share”

  1. I do; mine is a gibbon. I expect that defies most imaginations, but he is very lovely. You should see my son’s cuddly army! I do try to spend a few minutes here and there with the somewhat neglected B team, as opposed to the A team who live in his bed…..

    1. A gibbon, that’s wonderful! I know about the A and B team. My older d has her A’s in bed and the B’s fill a pet net that hangs near the ceiling. The B team is huge but I’m not allowed to cull it. Younger d has her B team in a laundry bin and her A team leaves little room for her in her bed!

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