Breakthrough finds that blanket cape can ward off negativity and stress
By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer
Local researchers have made a significant breakthrough in the study of coping mechanisms of stressed-out individuals.
“Through testing with control and experiment groups, we have concluded that when you are in the comfort of your own home and you affix a soft blanket around yourself like a cape, you are substantially more capable of warding off stress and negativity,” said Dr. Ash, senior researcher, in an interview with the Other Press.
“People have been doing this throughout the ages. Who doesn’t love a nice, cozy blanket wrapped around one’s shoulders while you go about your errands and daily business?”
Research assistant Kristofferson Bowe added, “It seems like the blanket was a key that we’ve been missing. I was lying on the couch one night feeling particularly relaxed, looked down at the way I had wrapped my comforter around me like a burrito and thought: ‘Eureka!’”
Ash and Bowe began to draft the blueprint for the experimentation, unable to ignore the resounding possibility behind Bowe’s a-ha! moment.
“Essentially, we began this research because we wanted to know if there was some sort of viable psychological relief that compelled people to surround themselves within the soft fortress of their blankets. We gathered 100 people and split them into two groups: blanket cape wearers and the capeless. We observed their daily actions and interactions and slowly began to feed them stressful inputs over a period of three months,” Dr. Ash explained while pointing to a graph carefully embroidered onto a white blanket. Small embroidered capes hovered along the bottom of the Y-axis, labelled “Severity of Response to Stressors” which went up in increments of “unaffected,” “mildly disturbed,” “off-put,” “annoyed,” “stressed,” “panicked,” and “inconsolable.”
The team of researchers determined that the sensation of affixing a cape over the shoulders releases a flood of serotonin and dopamine into the blanket wearer’s brain, making it easier for them to deal with the negative aspects of life. The blanket triggers a chemical response in the wearer and acts as a shield that protects them from having to carry the burden of whatever stressor or negativity may be incoming.
A subject in the experiment group—who preferred to remain anonymous—shared his experience while caped up.
“It was pretty awesome, actually,” he admitted. “I felt super safe with the blanket on. Even when they told me that I had failed all of my midterms and lost the internship I’ve been waiting to hear back from, I felt at peace with that. It’s like the blanket took all that crappy stuff and bounced it back out into the universe.”
In contemplating how he will face those stresses once the experiment is complete, the subject didn’t seem particularly worried.
“I’ll just take the blanket with me. I might even try taking it out into the real world. I could probably get away with stretching a shirt over it when I go to work, right? If I smooth out all the lumps, I don’t think it’ll look too funny.”
The group of researchers hopes to expand their findings and test the blanket cape’s capability in more stressful settings. Dr. Ash seemed hopeful for the future, sharing the possible directions of the next phase of study and research.
“We’re trying to line up some experiments with the local longshoreman union. If that doesn’t go through, hopefully waste management is open to the idea. As long as the capes don’t get in the way of their work, I’m sure we can figure something out.”