You know when you’re Googling “kittens” at work, and your boss walks by and you have to close the window really fast? It totally blows, I know. But it turns out that looking at cute baby animals can actually increase your ability to concentrate — which, if you ask me, makes lolcats an essential part of any work day!
The Japanese study, appropriately called “The Power of Kawaii,” proposes that looking at adorable pictures (read: baby animals) can help increase one’s focus. In the experiment, participants viewed either “pleasant” images, like delicious food, or “adorable” animal images (one group of subjects viewed baby animals, and the other viewed adult animals). Both sets of images were meant to evoke generally happy feelings, with the latter set also evoking feelings of empathy.
Then participants were asked to complete certain tasks. While playing the game Operation, the group who had viewed the baby animal pictures increased their performance scores by 44%, and were also shown to take more time on the project — the other groups fared much worse.
But to test if the empathetic feelings only affected care-related tasks (like in Operation), they also had subjects choose random numbers out of large sequences. The group who had seen the baby animals worked 13% faster than the other groups, and increased their accuracy by 16%, suggesting that cute stuff “increases attentiveness even when the task at hand is unlikely to raise feelings of empathy.”
“This finding suggests that viewing cute images makes participants behave more deliberately and perform tasks with greater time and care,” said the researchers.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but this means we can replace any and all studying with cuteoverload.com, right?. Maybe that‘s why I did well on my exams, even after kitten-induced all-nighters. Excuse me while I go forward this to my boss…
Oh…and you guys have midterms coming up soon, right? Click through my kawaii gallery and consider yourself prepared!
(Disclaimer: You should probably still study a little.)
What do you Lovelies think about the study??