Posts tagged with "This Is Us"

Cleaning can make your child a kinder person

March 21, 2018

Clean home, warm heart: A person’s level of empathy is positively associated with living in a clean household—especially if he or she is responsible for some aspect of the scrubbing, scouring, or tidying up. Those are the findings of a poll of more than 2,000 adults nationwide conducted in February by Clorox

Not only does a clean environment enhance a person’s level of compassion, but it also is linked to “ a drastic increase in connections and willingness to help others in the communit[y],” Clorox researchers report.

What’s more, parents say that their kids are more productive and better-behaved in clean spaces. Indeed, fully 59% of parents report that their children study better in a clean room; and 49% believe that their offspring are more pleasant to live with, if their rooms are clean.

Specifically, the Oakland, California-based bleach manufacturer claims that kids who are given cleaning chores at home learn critical life skills. Indeed, the recent poll found that, when a person has performed cleaning chores growing up, the likelihood that he or she will exhibit higher empathy as an adult increases by 64% —and the chances are 60% greater that he or she will help others in the community.

“There’s nothing more important to me as a dad than making sure my kids grow up to be kind and resilient adults and I think that’s something that connects all parents,” said Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall Pearson on the NBC-TV show This Is Us, and is, himself, the father of two children.

Of the Clorox campaign, Brown says, “It’s amazing that something as simple as cleaning can be such an essential tool in teaching my kids life lessons, like the importance of caring for others and being connected to the community around them.”

Beyond connecting us to the people and communities around us, the research findings show that simply being in a clean space impacts us in other key ways. In a clean space, the majority of people say they are:

  • More relaxed (80%),
  • Less stressed (60%), and
  • More productive (72%).

What’s more, Clorox claims, the more people clean, the happier they are. The likelihood someone is happier than average increases by 53% for every additional hour that they clean in a week.

“At Clorox we believe that cleaning matters. Through this campaign, we hope to show people that clean isn’t the opposite of dirty—it is the start of new possibilities,” said Clorox Director of Marketing Shaunte  Mears Watkins. “Cleaning is a way to show our family, friends and loved ones that we care by creating an environment where they can succeed.”

Research contact:

Why pet owners will risk their own lives to save Rover’s

March 2, 2018

It’s a scenario that played out recently on the NBC-TV series, This Is Us: Having heroically saved his family from a fire that was quickly engulfing their home, Jack Pearson ran back into the blaze to save his daughter’s dog. He later died at the hospital from a cardiac arrest brought on by smoke inhalation.

In real life, this episode plays out fairly often, Yahoo Lifestyle reports: This past November, a 61-year-old Florida man was hit by an Amtrak train, after running onto the tracks to save his beloved dog, Astrid.

One month earlier, a California woman succumbed to a wildfire while trying to rescue her border collie from a car. And in September, after Hurricane Harvey, a 25-year-old Texan was electrocuted after trying to save his sister’s cat from her flooded home.

Why do people take these chances for their pets? A Harris poll has found that 95% of pet owners consider their animals to be family members.

In a New York Times opinion piece, Dogs Are People, Too, written in October 2013, Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University Gregory Burns explained that this may be truer than most of us think.

“For the past two years, my colleagues and I have been training dogs to go in an MRI scanner—completely awake and unrestrained. Our goal has been to determine how dogs’ brains work and, even more important, what they think of us humans,” Burns said. “Now, after training and scanning a dozen dogs, my one inescapable conclusion is this: Dogs are people too.”

Of course, Yahoo points out, Burns wasn’t suggesting that dogs are actual humans, but rather that the activity in one specific area of the brain where enjoyment is felt suggests that they are more emotionally intelligent than we give them credit for.

“The ability to experience positive emotions, like love and attachment, would mean that dogs have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child,” Burns concludes.

This theory, as well as research into our co-evolution with dogs, might help explain why 40% of men who responded to a study by Georgia Regents University and Cape Fear Community College would save the life of their own dog over that of a foreign tourist. That number is higher for women, at about 45%, a story in the Huffington Post reported.

Dogs may not just feel like family; in an evolutionary sense, they truly are family. Yahoo reports that our close genetic ties to dogs also might explain why scientists find an increase in oxytocin (the love hormone) when owners gaze into their dogs’ eyes—the same hormone that increases when a mother looks at her baby.

Indeed, in a 2006 study conducted by the Fritz Institute, 44% of those who had chosen not to evacuate from a recent hurricane said it was because they didn’t want to leave their pets behind.

According to Yahoo, this finding served as a wake-up call for the federal government, which passed a law authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to include pets as a part of its rescue plan.

The law may save many households during upcoming natural disasters: According to the American Pet Products Association’s latest survey, 68% of U.S. households own a pet—a number that hovers around 85 million American homes nationwide.

Research contact: @abbyhaglage