Urgent: Adorable Kittens Boost Brainpower!

By Alyssa Jung

Next time you have a pile of work to get done, find some baby animals to “ooo and ahh” over first. That’s right: viewing cute images, like baby animals, can increase concentration and productivity, according to a new Japanese study.

In the study, “The Power of Kawaii” (kawaii means “cute” in Japanese), researchers at Hiroshima University found that people who looked at pictures of puppies and kittens performed follow up tasks better and with greater care than those who viewed images deemed “less cute.” Apparently, the cute images triggered positive emotions that are associated with motivation and getting things done.

Scientists split 132 students into three groups, each tasked with a different assignment. One group was made to play the game Operation, and participants who looked at pictures of puppies and kittens beforehand performed 44 percent better and took 12 percent longer to finish the game than those who looked at cat and dog pictures. Another group was given a numbers-driven experiment and produced similar results.

I knew baby animals were part of a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been using Google searches of “baby animals” or trolling iPhone pictures of my cat as a reward for getting all my work done. I guess I should reverse and indulge in some cute-therapy first.

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