Posted on 12/18/2012
Japanese researcher Hiroshi Nittono released a study that links looking at cute pictures of puppies or kittens at work to improving your mood and productivity.
So the next time your boss catches you squealing or giggling over photos of adorable animals, tell your boss it’s for a good cause.
For the Nittono study, a group of 48 students all between the ages of 18 and 22, right handed, and equally divided between men and women, were assigned to complete a task similar to the American board game "Operation." The experiment was designed to test for fine motor dexterity. The students attempted the task three times: the first after looking at a series of pictures of baby animals, then after seeing adult animals and finally after seeing pictures of delicious foods.
The students who looked at cute animals accomplished the task far better than their peers who observed adult animals or food.
The second experiment was designed to test concentration. Nittono assigned 16 students the task of identifying a particular number (for example, the number 6) out of a group of 40 printed on sheets of paper without pointing. Similar to the previous experiment, select groups of students were shown images of baby animals, grown-up animals, and foods. Again, the students who viewed baby animals performed better than the students who viewed images of adult animals and food.
For the last experiment, a group of 36 subjects were tested for the ability to focus, by responding to letters on a screen. A group of 18 women and 18 men was shown images of baby animals, adult animals, and appetizing food. Again, subjects who looked at the baby animals were able to focus better than the subjects who looked at adult animals or food.
One theory maintains that the reason for these results is because of the connection to nurturing instincts. The study stated, "If viewing cute things makes the viewer more attentive, the performance of a non-motor perceptual task would also be improved."
Another theory was linked to a behavioral tendency of adults to slow down speech when talking to puppies and kittens. These behaviors are believed to transfer to subsequent task performance.
Now you know the reason we put up photos of adorable animals on Facebook. It is not just because they are adorable, but, in addition to feeling good, it will also increase your productivity.
And, you're welcome for the boost of productivity we've provided for you... ;)
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