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|The Flowers & Seniors Study Research Methodology|
The Flowers & Seniors Study (2001) is the second floral research project conducted by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Project Director, Human Development Lab at Rutgers. 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. In 2000, Haviland-Jones completed the first phase of her research on the emotional impact of flowers on women. The Society of American Florists worked in cooperation with the Rutgers research team, bringing its expertise of flowers to the project.
The study consisted of 104 participants (94 women, 10 men), ranging in ethnicity, from ages 55-93. To prevent skewed or biased results, participants did not know the purpose of the study.
Participants were randomly placed into four groups. Each group received flowers at different intervals in the study, which they were told were thank-yous for participating. Results were based on how often the participants in each group received flowers (if at all), at what point in the study they received flowers, and any changes in mood and behavior that ensued. The groups included:
Rutgers researchers tested participants for changes in their depression, social contact and memory. Noting which flower group they were in, the researchers used the following methods for measurement:
The following questionnaires were asked of participants: Izard's Differential Emotional Scale, Diener's Life Satisfaction Scale. The standard social support measure, social contact logs and memory tests also were evaluated.