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Here’s a study you might not think is necessary, but interesting nonetheless – why are we comforted by Teddy Bears (or maybe stuffed animals, in general)?

“Teddy Bears” origins go back over 100 years, at least in terms of referring to a stuffed bear that way. A cartoon in 1902 depicted President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt refusing to shoot a black bear. The popular cartoon inspired a company to make a stuffed bear, dubbing it a “Teddy Bear” and the toys quickly sold out.

But back to the research – the study attempted to find out why children (and adults) are comforted by stuffed bears. Is it the way they look? Their softness? The fur? While they found people could be slightly more attached to Teddy Bears that smile, the biggest factor was the emotional connection a person makes with the bear! Meaning, people are comforted by their own stuffed animal bear versus just any bear, because of the unique connection they have made with it.