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.

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Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

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2 comments on “Teddies Make People Share
  1. litlove says:

    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…..

    • 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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