Teddy bears have a “reassuring power”

Teddy bears have a “reassuring power”

A blanket, a stuffed animal, a piece of cloth… These soft and pleasant to handle objects are the ones that children choose to become their beloved toy. They help them better manage separation-related stress. The bear has held an important place in Western homes since the beginning of the 20th century, including among adults.

Evaluate the characteristics of a teddy bear

Previous research has shown that teddy bears are effective at reassuring and comforting children. However, this did not allow “Know the basic determinants” of this special quality. Thus, researchers from the University of Montpellier decided to conduct a study to reveal the secret of the relaxing power of teddy bears.

For the purposes of the work, the French scientists recruited 1,000 people between the ages of 3 and 72. Using a questionnaire, volunteers had to rate the physical, olfactory and motor characteristics (softness, ease of handling, etc.) of their teddy bear. Then, they were asked to compare the relaxing strength of their beloved toy with the strength of eight other teddy bears. The procedure was repeated, using another bear that the participants had no romantic relationship with.

Comfort: A strong emotional bond shared with plushies

According to the results published in the journal Journal of Positive PsychologyEmotional connection plays a far greater role in reassurance than any other characteristic. The authors noted that softness, and the fact that the teddy bear was fun to handle and look at, played a role in the perception of comfort. According to the results, the feeling of well-being was not related to the gender or age of the participants. Moreover, they do not change over the course of life and are not biased by gender stereotypes, unlike other objects, such as dolls or fire trucks.

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“These works open up promising avenues for studying the psychological functioning of individuals thanks to their teddy bears, but above all they suggest a form of predictability of their relaxing power that could make it possible to expand the list of uses, for example, in school, in the hospital, at work , during negotiations, in a situation of crisis “, Thierry Brasac, study author and head of the Department of Scientific Culture at the University of Montpellier, concluded statement.

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