A new Japanese study will have employers around the world posting photos of kittens and puppies all over the workplace.
Hiroshima University released their findings on the The Power of Kawaii study Wednesday, which focused on viewing cute images and their influence on productivity. Kawaii is a Japanese word that translates into “cute”, and it is popularly used in Japanese culture (see explanation in later paragraphs).
On the surface, the study sounds a bit silly; however, it proves to be legitimate both in its methods as well as its findings. After three separate experiments, it was discovered that images of puppies and kittens were better performance motivators than images of adult animals and images of pleasant food.
An excerpt from the study states:
The results replicated and extended the result of Sherman et al. that viewing cute images has a positive effect on behavioral performance in tasks that require carefulness.
The Hiroshima University study substantiated a similar study from 2009 conducted by Gary Sherman, which found that children played the game Operation better after they looked at images of puppies and kittens.
Researchers realize that there are still several shortcomings in their study, outlining factors that could influence emotion such as; a woman’s hormonal level, cultural attitude towards babies and children and the lack of gender differences which would require a larger sampling of participants.
According to a 1995 paper by researcher Sharon Kinsella, Japanese people have a fondness for “cute”, even though its very existence threatens their cultural traditions. It explains that this cultural phenomenon is an escape method for those not meeting spiritual, emotional, intellectual and sexual needs through daily interactions with people. While this fondness could have some bearing on the 2012 study findings, it should not have much of an influence on the final outcomes assuming this was factored into the study.
The fact is, cute animals make us more cautious out of concern for their vulnerability. This emotional response made participants more careful and resulted in them performing their tasks much quicker. This is a Win-Win for management looking to get a little more work out of their employees.
The study states:
Nurturant love motivates caregiving behavior that exhibits close attention to the target’s needs and vigilance against possible threats to the target, and thus increases the systematic processing of the environment.
The study further suggests that in the future, images of baby animals could be used to induce certain behaviors especially when driving and while working at the office.
To see lots of work-inspiring images of baby animals, stop by Daily Puppy or Cutearoo to get your daily cute fix.
Your boss will thank you for it.
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