Finally, a reason to look at cute baby animal pictures.


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      I don't know about you, but personally I'm always looking for a reason or an excuse to procrastinate. Whether it's checking up on my Facebook, calling my friend, or just aimlessly browsing the web. But one of my favorite procrastination past-times is going on the "aww" section of reddit.com and looking at cute animals. Unfortunately, there was never any way for me to convince myself that doing this was helping me in any way...until now.

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            A study called "The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus," conducted at Japan's Hiroshima University has shown that not only is it acceptable, but actually beneficial to look at pictures of cute baby animals. According to the Washington Post, they created a study to prove the benefits of looking at pictures of cute baby animals. Care2.com referenced the Washington Post article and briefly explained the experiment:  "The study involved 48 students performing a fine motor task: playing a game (similar to the U.S. game Operation) which required very careful, gentle movements. They performed this task both before and after being shown a photograph of a baby animal, an adult animal, or a pleasant food item."

            The scientists then concluded that the students who looked at the baby animal pictures "showed a significant improvement both in how many times they completed the task, and in how accurate they were." The scientists believe this could possibly be because to be responsible for a baby animal requires one to be very caring and gentile while also paying close attention to their physical and mental well-being. "Thus, it may be possible that simply looking at photos of baby animals invokes similar productive, attentive behaviors as the ones we would have if we were caring for the animals in person!"

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            This new research, only a couple weeks old (published on September 26th) is spreading fast. When I looked it up after seeing the first article, I was shocked to see how many other websites and papers had already reported on this. I was also able to read the actual study  and read about the experiments in depth, and it seems quite reputable and actually very interesting. I know that I may have been a little biased when researching, because obviously I want this research to be true, but still I was, for the most part, convinced that the findings are correct. However, I did still have some questions and concerns with the specifics of conclusions and research. Is there a certain amount of time that is the most beneficial to be looking at these pictures? If you're looking at pictures for an hour instead of doing your work, is that seriously helping you concentrate - or just helping you concentrate on the animals? I'm sure there will be more research done, because like we've learned scientists are always skeptical of other scientists' work, so I would definitely hold off before you start preparing for your exams by looking at cute pictures of puppies. But, for the meantime check out this link link full of amazing baby animal pictures. Enjoy, and study hard! 

Sources:

http://www.livescience.com/23515-cute-animal-images-boost-work-performance.html

 

http://www.pawnation.com/2012/10/01/study-finds-looking-at-photos-of-cute-animals-improves-focus/#page=1

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/01/want-to-increase-your-productivity-study-says-look-at-this-adorable-kitten/

 

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/looking-at-cute-kittens-improves-focus.html

 

http://www.autostraddle.com/youre-not-wasting-time-looking-at-baby-animals-helps-productivity-147222/

1 Comment

the title says it all! I find your questions brought up about this study to be very interesting. on a personal note and I have no shame, I find it fascinating when I watch kittens on youtube doing crazy and adorable things because its entertainment for me personally and it also does help me create some relieve from life's responsibility: I think these studies are trying to make the psychological judgement that possibly older and well developed adults find a sense of superiority from watching these less developed creatures. I wonder if this experimentation could be the same applied to human babies? most likely. but awesome post!

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