Sunday, 5 August 2007

On-going research

With our dolphin-swim program focused on enabling people to have unique levels of contact with dolphins, we have had an excellent opportunity to do research into the effects of dolphin contact. Working with Dr Hunter Handley, a local psychologist, we have done an extensive survey of the moods of our swimmers.

(For details, visit

Using a well-recognised psychological "instrument", called PANAS (Positive and Negative Affect Survey), we have asked our swim participants to rate a list of words that designate emotional states, or feelings, on a scale from 1 to 5, either of low significance up to high significance. This survey is done before the dolphin swim, immediately after the second swim, and again at a randomly chosen date, some weeks post swim.

This enables us to get a reasonable look at the change in mood that occurs as a result of the dolphin encounter and its lasting effect.

We had 68 people in our program this past season, with 52 of them eligible for our research program. So far, 35 have responded. We are almost complete, and expect 4 more responses. This gives us a fairly large sample and the results are very interesting.

We will withhold reporting the final results for a while longer, until we have all the responses in hand. Our intention, working with Dr Handley, is to publish our results in a peer-reviewed journal. As a contribution to the field of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy research, this should be a significant paper. There have been few papers ever published in this promising field and we hope to improve that.

Stay tuned for more information, the results of our research, and a link to the eventual location of the published paper.

Thanks, Hunter, for all your hard work. It has been a pleasure working with you on this worthy project.

The Ambassadors

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