Study: Cute Pics Improve Work Skills
Hang in there, baby — Friday’s coming. And if that sentiment doesn’t automatically make you feel better, reread it while looking at a kitten dangling from a rope.
See that? It worked. Friday’s here.
As that one woman in your office can tell you (or if you are her, no need), cute pictures of snuggly, doe-eyed little critters touch a soft spot in us humans. Baby schema — the set of features that make young animals appealing, such as big eyes and a head too big for the body — have been shown in experiments to capture people’s attention, make them smile and even induce caregiving to others. Oh sure, the boss may seem tough, but one look at a basket full of puppies and he’ll want to rub you right on your little belly.
A study published online this week by the journal PloS ONE suggests that viewing cute images not only makes people feel better, but improves performance in completing certain tasks.
The study comes out of Hiroshima University in Japan, home of Hello Kitty and countless anime beings. Researchers sought to understand the effect of images described as kawaii, loosely translated as "cute," on behavior. In the first of three experiments, student subjects playing a game similar to Operation exhibited improved fine-motor dexterity after looking at photos of kittens and puppies, just as real surgeons do. A quote from the study nodding to earlier work reads:
"The improvement in the accuracy of this task can be interpreted as an index of increased attention to and control of motor actions.… That is, the tenderness elicited by cute images is more than just a positive affective feeling state. It can make people more physically tender in their motor behavior."
A second experiment produced similar results for visual tasks, supporting the researchers’ hypothesis that cute images narrow focus and attention. Control subjects shown pictures of adult animals, and presumably some pretty darn ugly ones, showed no performance improvement in either experiment.
The third experiment involved a visual challenge with groups of subjects viewing either baby animal pictures, adult animal pictures or more neutral "images of pleasant foods." There was no improved performance evidence in the food group. It doesn't really seem reasonable, anyway, that looking at — what’s "pleasant food" anyway? — a chocolate muffin, say, would sharpen your typing skills. But how about eating it? That seems worth a try.
"Cute features not only make objects more user friendly and approachable," the study concludes, "but also induce careful behavioral tendencies in the users, which is beneficial in specific situations, such as driving and office work."
We’re not sure why exactly this warrants a scientific study but we’re going to stare at a baby marmoset right now and, with improved concentration, wait for the answer to emerge.
Photo: Fotosearch/Getty Images
And also study's have shown that if you wear Kevlar gloves all day you are less likely to get cuts and less instances of getting stitches..... (obviously but who wants to be forced to wear gloves all day when working with rubber!!!!!)
So who ever does these study's are retarded.
inspire: live a better life
Whether it involves a food fight, mermaids or a torch-lit procession, people the world over know how to have a good time. Here are some of the biggest, boldest, booziest celebrations around, along with some tips to get the full experience.
Research could mean more effective treatment for human disorders.
An entry a day might keep the doctor away (or at least the shrink).
One woman's shout-outs to daily moments of joy — and how to cultivate them.
Volunteering (and these other rituals) might be just as good as exercise when it comes to extending your life.
Use these tricks to set a better tone for the rest of the week.
In September, I'll turn 38. I'm at the age now where, when people ask how old I am, it takes me a minute to remember. I don't know if that's because I've already been 37 different ages and it's hard to keep straight which one I am now, or if it's because I'm in denial, or if it's because I am going senile. Maybe a combination of all of the above. Regardless, my 30s have flown by and soon they will be but a memory. So, in an effort to preserve the memory I have left (or at least keep a record of it), and to celebrate what has been an amazing decade so far, here are 30 things that have happened to me in my 30s (and will probably happen to you too):
Our best health and fitness tips including the one move that tones all, berry news, and more.
Who just wants to stand around and watch the red and gold leaves slowly fall from their tree branches to the ground as we move from summer to fall? Instead, take in the changing seasons while you're on the move.
Here's some tips to get to happiness going forward in your life.
People 60 to 82 did best on cognitive tasks before 10:30am.