And the best part is, if your boss catches you "ooh"ing and "aww"ing this morning, you can say you're just working on your job performance!
New research from Hiroshima University has found that, after looking at pictures of puppies or kittens, people performed tasks more quickly or more accurately.
In the small study, 48 subjects played Operation--a.k.a. the buzzy, alarming board game that still haunts the nightmares of some of us--and were then shown photos of gourmet food, people, and baby and adult animals. Then they played the game again. Those who had viewed the pics of squee-worthy baby animals played 44 percent better than they had earlier (the adult animal pics seemed to have an impact, too, at 5 percent).
(The cuteness is coming right up, promise.)
The teensy animal pics also seemed to affect accuracy, too: in another experiment, another 48 participants had to do visual search tasks, finding words and numbers in images, and images made up of numbers and words. Their accuracy increased by a modest 2 percent. According to the researchers, cute things "not only make us happier, but also affect our behavior. This study shows that viewing cute things improves subsequent performance in tasks that require behavioral carefulness, possibly by narrowing the breadth of attentional focus."
So! With all that said, here are some cute baby animals to--maybe, possibly!--help get you focused on work this Tuesday morning: