Bust out the puppy posts, turn on the panda cams, and scroll through pages of grumpy kitten photos because looking at cute pictures doesn’t just make your day a thousand times better, it actually increases productivity.

Kawaii and productivity
In a study aptly titled The Power of Kawaii, researchers from Hiroshima University discovered that exposure to cute animals increases the brain’s concentration levels for a short period of time. In one of a series of experiments, the researchers found that subjects could pick out objects from small holes 10 percent more accurately after viewing images of baby animals and humans. Another experiment revealed that subjects could identify number patterns two percent faster. On the other hand, subjects who viewed non-cute images like food and rocks had next to no changes to their speed and accuracy. Yes, this is definitely the study of the decade.

The power of cute
So what’s the science behind this? Well, the scientists propose that viewing cute images induces a “cuteness-triggered positive emotion” that improves our ability to focus. Another explanation says that looking at such images induces smiles, which have a positive effect on our attention span. Whatever the reason is, this finding is great news for all of us. So if you’re stressed out and can’t seem to focus at work, search for “cute animals” on Google to lift your spirits and improve your focus — two for one!

Image: Alena Ozerova  / 123RF.com
Natalie Pang