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The home office is an ideal place to inject motivational energy — or the power of now. Anyone will feel encouraged to reach for the stars and live life to the fullest with this motivational floral arrangement featuring an up-shooting spray in sensuous, rich orange and fuchsia colors.

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Emotional Impact of Flowers Study Research Methodology PDF Print E-mail
The Emotional Impact of Flowers Study was conducted by Jeannette M. Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Project Director, Human Development Lab at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Haviland-Jones is a psychologist and internationally recognized authority in the role of emotional development in human behavior and nonverbal emotional signals and response.

The research adds a scientific foundation to what many consider to be common knowledge - that flowers have a strong, beneficial impact on those who receive them. The Society of American Florists worked in cooperation with the Rutgers research team, bringing an expertise of flowers to the project.

Study Participants

he participants were 147 women, ranging equally in age, educational level, and career and lifestyle choice. Women were studied because previous research on emotion demonstrates that women are more discerning of moods, more willing to participate in studies on moods and more involved in emotional management within the home and at work.

Flower Deliveries

Study participants knew they would have a gift delivered, but they did not know what the gift would be. This "secrecy" was to obtain an honest first reaction to the gift as a measure of the direct effect of flowers on immediate mood.

Immediate Emotional Reaction

Trained researchers measured the behavior and emotional expression of participants when they received the flowers. Three different smiles as well as verbal reactions were coded upon the delivery of the flowers. The information was recorded into a field computer within the first 5 seconds of the flower delivery, to measure accurately the first, immediate reaction.

  • Polite Smile: This is used most commonly in quick greetings or acknowledgements. No discernable facial movement is present except the turning up of the corners of the mouth.
  • True Smile: This is seen when there are possible changes in behavior indicating pleasure. Hence it is called "true" - the person is truly happy.
  • Excited Smile: This smile combines two emotions - excitement and happiness. Here we see the true smile, but also the eyebrows are raised so that there are high, horizontal wrinkles across the forehead.

Interviews

The participants were interviewed before getting their gifts, to give the research team a "baseline" of measure. From this, the researchers measured how feelings changed when participants had flowers in their homes. In the initial interview, interviewers asked the participants to evaluate their feelings over the past two to four days to assess their overall, general feelings. Then, several days after the gift was delivered (about 10 days after the first interview) participants were interviewed again to measure changes in feelings related to having flowers in the home.

Questionnaires

The following questionnaires were asked of participants: Diener and Lerner's Life Satisfaction questionnaire, Izard's Differential Emotion Scale, the Everyday Illness questionnaire, and the Symptoms of Well-Being questionnaire - which covers entertaining, romance, relaxation, intimate and creative experiences.

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+1 #3 Aboutflowers.com 2010-09-16 15:48
A study at Texas A&M also studied men and women and the effects of flowers and plants in the workplace. You may be interested in these results as well: aboutflowers.com/.../....
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0 #2 Aboutflowers.com 2010-09-16 15:47
Hi Andy, Thank you for your comment. The Emotional Impact of Flowers study did only study women because the researchers pointed out that women do generally discern moods and feelings more effectively than men. A smaller, separate study did explore men's response to flowers. It involved two groups of men who varied in age and ethnicity, one group who received a surprise gift of flowers and a control group who did not. The subjects' verbal cues and body language (measures of social interaction) were studied. The men who received flowers demonstrated increased eye contact in conversation, stood in closer proximity to the researchers, and produced more and truer smiles than those men who did not receive flowers. More about the study is posted at aboutflowers.com/.../....
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0 #1 Andy Perkins 2010-09-04 09:00
I was surprised the study did not look at men's reactions to flowers. Perhaps they are somewhat less likely to discern moods or participate in studies, but my guess is that flowers are powerful enough to elicit statistically significant responses -- even from men!

I measure satisfaction levels - usually at the company level -- but am always interested to see how the scores on individual items differ between men and women. It's not unusual to be surprised by the research results.

Seems like a missed opportunity to me.

Andy Perkins
The Satisfaction Questionnaire Blog
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Flower Meanings

Snapdragon = Presumptuous

Snapdragon Flowers

See more Flower Meanings.

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Aboutflowers.com features photos and images of flowers, floral arrangements, bouquets, floral designs and plants, as well as tips on flower and plant care, a comprehensive list of flower meanings, the latest flower holiday statistics and numbers, flower design trends, sample card messages, flower gift-buying advice and a directory of local florists.

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Florists have always known that flowers make people happy, and now scientific research proves flower power. Aboutflowers.com highlights university research proving the emotional and behavioral benefits of flowers and plants. Rutgers research shows that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed. Another Rutgers study demonstrates that flowers ease depression, inspire social networking and refresh memory as we age. A Harvard study reveals that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh cut flowers are present in the home. And a Texas A&M study demonstrates that workers' idea generation, creative performance and problem-solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.

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