Sweet LOLcats! Puppies and kittens can boost productivity?

CuteOverload may be the cure for work overload. A Japanese study finds looking at pictures of cute animals can be a boost for work performance.

Delia in the sun
My personal workplace productivity consultant. Amanda Kooser/CNET

It turns out my obsessive daily viewing of eye-searingly adorable animal pictures online is actually an integral part of of my work productivity plan. I am indebted to some Japanese scientists for this revelation.

Researchers from Hiroshima University conducted a study to examine the effects of viewing cute images on task performance. Guess what? Looking at images of baby animals boosted performance, I'm thrilled to report.

The researchers measured the performance of test subjects on a task that required mental and physical coordination before and after viewing photos of puppies and kittens. A control group looked at not-quite-so-cute images of adult animals.

The paper, delightfully titled "The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus," is good news for all of us with CuteOverload and LOLcat addictions.

The abstract from the paper's publication in PLOS One concludes with, "For future applications, cute objects may be used as an emotion elicitor to induce careful behavioral tendencies in specific situations, such as driving and office work." You can get into all the details of the experiments and conclusions at the open-access journal.

(Via Livescience)

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