Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Psychologist reins in animal-therapy claims

From Connecticut's Record-Journal:

"It's clear that animals cheer people up and can engage people who have otherwise withdrawn, but some doubt the long-term benefits of animal therapy.

"Scott Lilienfeld, a professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta and columnist for Scientific American, said there isn't sufficient research to claim that animal therapy has a lasting therapeutic effect. He's not ruling out that possibility, but says more and better studies need to be done.

"'We often find a short-term activating effect,' he said. 'Lots of things will cheer people up in the short term.'"

Read more on a report Lilienfeld wrote with neuroscientist Lori Marino, "Dolphin Therapy is All Wet."

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