For less humanoid systems, people respond idiosyncratically. For example, some people name their Roomba vacuums and speak of them almost like a pet but others do not. So what aspects of a system might provide those triggers?
Given that isolation increases stress and cortisol production, and that petting dogs reduces blood pressure, the researchers suggest that touching a teddy bear might make you not just happier and nicer but healthier too.
From childhood, I have always regarded The New York Times as the world's greatest newspaper, and the leading source of reasonably objective information. Yet, there is something about it that has always bothered me.