With finals week coming up, myself, along with many of my peers I’m sure, are feeling the pressure and beginning to stress. Fortunately, Penn State recognizes this, and provides a multitude of services throughout finals week to help us cope and get through it, with one of these services being stress puppies. By doing this, Penn State is making the claim that spending time with dogs will help lessen or remove stress, which is the alternative hypothesis. That being said, the null hypothesis would be that dogs unfortunately do nothing to help with stress.
According to an article on Harvard Health by Christine Junge and Ann MacDonald, not only does being around dogs help with lowering and maintaining stress levels, their presence has also been found aide with an array of health related issues, such as lowering blood pressure, improving recovery time from heart disease, and reduce the effects of asthma and allergies. While looking up whether or not there are mental health benefits to owning or being around dogs, I came across emotional support dogs. The US Dog Registry has stated that dogs can be registered to provide emotional support to their owners or other humans, and help them deal with mental health disorders and diseases such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, fears, phobias, and several other mental health conditions.
After looking a bit further into this, we are to reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis that dogs are able to reduce stress. That being said, it would be a good idea for Penn State to continue this tradition from finals weeks in the past and bring puppies to campus this year to alleviate some of the pressure students face during finals.