63ºF

Looking at cute puppies can help your marriage, study says

Research shows pictures of puppies, bunnies help rekindle marital spark

The CDC is investigating a multistate outbreak of campylobacter infections linked to contact with puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain.
The CDC is investigating a multistate outbreak of campylobacter infections linked to contact with puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain. (iStock/Asian)

Looking at photos of cute baby animals could definitely be your answer for solving sadness -- but can they help rekindle your marriage?

In a new study, a team of psychology scientists, led by James K. McNulty of Florida State University, found how viewing pictures of puppies and bunnies can help a marriage maintain its spark. 

Apparently, their happy-go-lucky attitudes may improve struggling relationships.  

The study was published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

A Department of Defense grant funded the research because it was meant to help families dealing with long-term separations due to deployment. 

Researchers found that people who were shown photos of puppies and bunnies next to a photo of their partner developed more positive associations with that partner.

“I was actually a little surprised that it worked,” McNulty said in the Psychological Science article.

The head researcher also said he plans to look into other ways relationships can be "conditioned."

However, McNulty said, it isn't a cure-all for marital troubles, and couples still need to also have positive interactions with each other. 


About the Authors: