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Do flowers make us happy?

In the floral industry we understand the positive impact flowers have on people. To demonstrate this scientifically, SAF partnered with world-renowned researcher Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, on a groundbreaking study to examine the effect of flowers on human emotion and well being.

After ten months of working closely with the Rutgers research team, on September 22, 2000 at the Consumer Marketing Breakfast at SAF's 116th Annual Convention in Palm Beach, Florida, SAF unveiled to the industry the results of the first-ever Emotional Impact of Flowers Study. In a captivating presentation by Dr. Haviland-Jones, convention attendees learned that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects future behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed. As a result, flowers prove to be a natural and healthful moderator of moods.
"Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy," said Dr. Haviland-Jones. "Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well being."

Specifically, the SAF-sponsored research reveals the following:

1. Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. Study participants expressed "true" or "excited" smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.

2. Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.

3. Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.

4. Flowers are a symbol for sharing. The study explored where in their homes people display flowers. Once received, arrangements were placed in areas of the home that are open to visitors - such as foyers, living rooms and dining rooms - suggesting that flowers make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.

"The symbolic significance and the universal impact of flowers remains its outstanding feature," added Dr. Haviland-Jones. "In my work, I rarely find anything that contributes to such significant mood changes as the floral arrangements did."

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