There are many situations in life where we need a helping hand. Who would have thought that a simple gift from Mother Nature – flowers – can help.
Flowers are commonly associated with happy occasions, to convey happiness, romance but also regret and compassion. Now, according to a recent study published in Psychological Reports, just wearing flowers in your hair may increase the chances a stranger will help you.
French psychologists, Jordy Stefan and Nicolas Guéguen of the Universite de Bretagne-Sud, investigated whether flowers can increase positive responses to an explicit request for help.
To put it to test, they recruited two 19-year-old girls, both of them wearing barretts, one of them with a flower. They were asked to request bus fare from a total of 240 strangers.
The women approached 120 people each, while smiling and politely asking, “Excuse me, sir/madame, would you happen to have a euro for the bus?”
The results? The pedestrians responded positively giving bus fare 76.7% of the time when the girl was wearing the flower, compared to only 50.8% of the time to the girl without the flower. The scientists suggest that the sight of the flower encouraged people to stop for a moment to chat with the woman, and therefore, increased the likelihood that they would give her the bus fare.
This study support previous ones which have found exposure to flowers can bring out positive emotions and help social relationships.
A 2012 study published in the North American Journal of Psychology, found flowers positively influence female motorist behavior when hitchhikers held flowers. “The researchers believed due to the positive effect of flowers on women, female motorists would be more inclined to stop and offer a ride to a male holding flowers while hitchhiking. The males did solicit a higher response in the number of male and female drivers who stopped to offer a ride while the men held the flowers.” according to medicaldaily.com.
These and previous studies are indicating that flower power is in fact real, and it can produce positive emotions such as sympathy and connectedness. Flowers can reinforce positive social behavior, socio-economic acts such as social greeting patterns, and even memories of social events.Sources: Adapted from: www.medicaldaily.com