Have you ever noticed how many advertisers use cute animals or babies to get your attention? At times, the cuties have little to do with the product on offer, yet they appear in the ad. But why? Well, in this article, we look at what a recent Japanese study has found. They examined whether, and if so, how, looking at cute animals may temporarily make you smarter.
In this study into the power of kawaii (cute in Japanese), scientists examined how people performed in various tasks after looking at images of cute animals.
Setting three different tasks to university students, they wanted to find out how looking at cute animals may temporarily make you smarter.
In the first test, students were asked to carry out a fine motor skills task after looking at baby and adult, animals. Participants performed better after looking at kittens and puppies, rather than cats and dogs.
In the second test, the same results emerged, but the test involved a non-visual task.
Finally, in the third experiment, participants were given a global letter processing task. Here, too, participants performed better after viewing pictures of cute animals.
How Looking at Cute Animals May Temporarily Make You Smarter
Analyzing the findings, researchers put this improvement in performance down to the emotion raised by images of cute animals. The cuteness appears to create an emotion that leads viewers to be more motivated as well as to approach tasks with greater attention to detail.
Much like the baby schema effect, the kawaii cuteness factor seems to have the power to grab people’s attention and affect their subsequent behavior.
This research has led the experts involved to believe that people should look at pictures of cute animals before driving or office work.