Anyone who looked at memes during the pandemic was better able to cope with the global health crisis, at least indirectly, psychologically. This is the conclusion reached by the authors of a scientific study that has now been published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media. “Indeed, the results show that memes have the potential to affect our psychological state and, in some cases, our stress levels and ability to cope with stress,” the paper reads.
The study examined how different memes affected the well-being of the test subject. For this purpose, the test persons were shown memes whose texts referred to Covid-19, among other things. A comparison group again saw memes with the same pictures, only that in this case a text without corona reference was chosen. The result: Those who were shown corona memes then reported a lower level of Covid-19-related stress. “This result is in line with the idea that engaging with memes can provide useful perspective, comfort and appreciation for one’s own experience,” the authors explain.
Meme research: cute animals are less effective against pandemic stress
Memes that contained animals were generally considered sweeter in the study perceived. While previous studies suggest that seeing cute photos can have positive effects on the psyche, the researchers concluded that this is not the case when it comes to coping with pandemic-related stress. The researchers conclude that health authorities should primarily use memes that humans contain if they want to reduce the stress level of the population in this way.
“In summary, this study provides initial evidence that memes are not just silly fun, but that they may be helpful in dealing with the stress of a global pandemic and to connect psychologically while we remain physically separated “, is the conclusion of the participating scientists: