Who would have thought that looking at pictures of cute baby animals could boost one’s productivity?
According to a Japanese study, pictures of kittens, puppies, and other baby animals help people be more productive. A group of psychologists at Hiroshima University conducted three experiments to test their hypothesis.
The first experiment involved 48 students, split into two groups. They were asked to play a game like “Operation.” After a round, volunteers from the first group were shown pictures of cute baby animals, while the other group was shown pictures of adult animals. The first group performed better.
In the second experiment, volunteers were divided into three groups. Their task was to remember how many times a number appeared in different sequences. Again, the first group was shown photos of baby animals. The second group had adult animal photos, and the third group had pictures of “pleasant foods.” Results showed that the first group was the best among the three.
Thirty-six right-handed students, who hadn’t participated in the first two experiments, were divided into three groups. Like the previous, the participants were shown photos of the same three categories. Volunteers were asked to press the left or right key if they saw the letter H or the letter T on the screen as quickly and accurately as possible. Surprisingly, in this case the first group scored the lowest.
The researchers wrote that “the narrowed attention may be beneficial to performance on tasks that require carefulness in the motor and perceptual domains, such as the tasks used in the first two experiments.”
Now I know what I need to do! Searching for cute kittens…