Having trouble at work? Can’t focus and your performance is reaching worrying levels? Just take five and watch some kittens on the Internet! Apparently, people who take breaks and view images of baby animals are better at performing tasks that require focus.
A Japanese study from 2012 examined the effects of viewing cute images on subsequent performance in unrelated task. While it is understandable that “cute” things are treated favorably by our minds, little is known about their effects on our subsequent behavior. The researchers behind the study believed that because cute things produce positive feelings, their influence may extend to other aspects of our behavior as well, like performance of certain tasks.
Students were tested in controlled conditions in several unconnected tasks. They were given various images to look at, from baby to adult animals to food. The images with the most effect proved to be the ones with baby animals. The study was concluded and the results confirmed previous papers and studies that viewing cute images has a positive effect on behavioral performance in tasks that require care and focus. Scientist explain the results in terms of the embodied cognition perspective, which holds that the tenderness elicited by cute images is more than just a positive affective feeling state, but it can make people more physically tender in their motor behavior. The study further showed that perceiving cuteness not only improves fine motor skills but also increases perceptual carefulness.
There you go, folks, now we know why the Internet is flooded with pictures of cats. People are just looking to improve their performance. In their honor, The Health Science Journal publishes the cutest of them all. Enjoy!
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