Kittens riding a Roomba, sloths chillin’ in a bucket, a geriatric basketball-playing otter. What do they all have in common? They’re undeniably cute. And while your coworkers may think you’re putting off a deadline by taking in all that cuteness, science says cute images may boost productivity and focus.
A Japanese study, released last fall, set out to examine the effects of viewing cute images on human behavior. The researchers rallied up 48 college students and conducted three experiments — one to test motor skills, another involving a number-based concentration task, and the third tested level of attention — before and after viewing images of baby or adult animals. So what did the researchers find? In all three experiments, the people who looked at images of cute baby animals outperformed the others.
Though images of baby animals improved performance even more than those of adult animals, both made study subjects happier and more focused. The researchers referenced other studies that also associate a positive effect of cute images on human performance in tasks that require carefulness.
So next time you’ve got to untie a massive not, beat your grandma in a game of setback, or kill it on a presentation at work, we prescribe a video (or seven) of babies, kitties, or an elderly otter cruising along his aquatic basketball court.
Kitties ride a vacuum
Sloth friends hang out in a bucket
Orangutan baby gets its groove on (with oversized hat)
Baby polar bear gets a belly rub
Bulldog puppies make nice with human baby
Are you a big fan of watching cute videos? Do you think they can actually make you more productive? Let us know in the comment section below or tweet the author @nicmcdermott.