Scientific American MIND Explores the Psychology Behind Keeping Pets

In 1961 a child psychologist proposed a radical idea to the American Psychological Association: What if dogs could help therapists connect to troubled patients? Perhaps the animals would help soothe anxiety and help people open up. Yet the idea that humans might derive therapeutic effects from animals would go on to capture the attention of many future researchers.
Although various types of pets and non-Western cultural dynamics remain largely unexplored, research has begun to examine how the animals that surround us affect our mood and mental states.



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