There’s new research out of Japan that may offer you a little bit of mental relief–and actually make you a better worker. Cute animals are the solution. In a series of three small studies, researchers at Hiroshima University found that individuals who were shown pictures of really cure puppies and kitties tended to perform better on tasks.
New research from Hiroshima University has found that, looking at pictures of puppies or kittens or basically “cute” things showed that people performed tasks more quickly or more accurately.
In a small study of 48 subjects played Operation, the classic board game. These subjects were then shown photos of gourmet food, people, and baby and adult animals. Then they played the game again. Those who had viewed the pics of cute baby animals played 44 percent better than they had earlier.
The cute animal pics also seemed to affect accuracy, too: in another experiment, another 48 participants had to do visual search tasks, finding words and numbers in images, and images made up of numbers and words. Their accuracy increased by a modest 2 percent. According to the researchers, cute things “not only make us happier, but also affect our behavior. This study shows that viewing cute things improves subsequent performance in tasks that require behavioral carefulness, possibly by narrowing the breadth of attentional focus.”